PLEASE READ THE FULL DESCRIPTION BELOW!!!
PHOTO 1: Summit of Black Crater
PHOTO 2: Collier Cone
PHOTO 3: North Sister from PCT near Collier Cone
Hike rating: Difficult (long)
Elevation gain: Hike 1: 2500 feet; Hike 2: 2800 feet
Pace: Moderate to Quick (~2 mph)
Hike distance: Hike 1: 8 miles; Hike 2: 15 miles
Distance from Portland: 170 miles (a little over 3 hours) each way
Costs: Suggested $20 per person to driver for gas (may vary depending on each car's gas mileage)
What to bring: The 10 essentials; sunscreen; hat (for shade); gaiters (to keep rocks out of your boots); trekking poles; headlamp and spare batteries; tent; sleeping bag (to 30 degrees) /mat/pillow; an extra layer or two for a potentially chilly evening/morning; sunglasses; camera; at least 2 liters of water per day; food for 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner, plus snacks for the trail; sturdy hiking boots or shoes. Plan for warm to hot days and nighttime temps around freezing. Leave the cotton at home.
Sorry, no dogs...
If you like volcanic landscapes, this outing is for you! On two different day hikes, we'll be exploring the northern portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness, with excellent views of North Sister and Mount Washington along the way. No need for backpacks; we'll plan to car camp at Lava Camp Lake on Saturday evening, which is near both trailheads.
Day 1 (Saturday): Leave Gateway at 730am and drive to the campground, where we can claim a spot for the night. We should be there by 11am. In the afternoon, we'll have plenty of time for the 8-mile round trip hike to the summit of Black Crater (7251 feet), which will provide nice views of North Sister and the surrounding area. Although the crater summit is open, much of this hike will be forested. (Those with energy to burn may try to also bag nearby Belknap Crater (6872 feet), with great views of Mount Washington.) Return to camp for the night.
Day 2 (Sunday): Pack up our camping gear & stash it in the cars by 8am, then head south on the PCT along the forest edge, past the attractive Mathieu Lakes and into the volcanic landscape towards Yapoah Crater. We'll cross the unfortunately-named Opie Dildock Pass and walk the rim of Collier Cone (7534 feet), which should provide stunning up-close views of nearby North Sister. (We can try a side spur to Four in One Cone if there's time.) We'll retrace our steps to the cars, arriving in late afternoon. With a well-deserved food/drink stop on the way back, we should be back to Portland around 9pm.
Be aware that significant portions of this outing will be in the open sun, so bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat to provide some shade and sun protection.
We'll stop for food/drink on the way back. With the drive and stop, I'm guessing we'll be back to Portland around 9pm on Sunday. Please do not sign up if you need to be back by a certain time the evening of the 26th!
If you have any questions or are unsure if this hike is for you, please contact the Assistant Organizer (Matt T).