Green Lakes is a beautiful lake situated between Broken Top and South Sister, with Mount Bachelor looming in the distance. This is an annual backpacking trip, and a favorite for many. The trail in offers several views of waterfalls and lava beds, with obsidian rocks scattered throughout. Close up views of South Sister and Broken Top dominate the lake shore camping spots. Watching the sunrise over Broken Top is an amazing event some of us enjoy each year.
Details: We will meet at 7:00AM at Best Buy, just off I-5, on Gateway. Plan on leaving promptly after setting up carpooling. I feel this is a great on and off spot, it is near the freeway, several gas stations, coffee stands, and highways for everyone to meet at. We can conveniently go south along the freeway from here.
Trail Info: Green Lakes is a 8.8 mile out and back with 1100' of elevation gain. The trail runs along a creek, then through a dense forest, before following the creek between a lava field and the forest. Views of South Sister, Mount Bachelor and Broken Top can be seen throughout the hike. Options of taking the Soda Creek Trail on our way out is available and recommended for amazing views and to give hikers something new to see. This trails does add a several more miles, but it is downhill and well worth the views of Mount Bachelor and the many meadows and alpine creeks.
Where: Green Lakes is located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, near Mount Bachelor, with Bend being the nearest city.
When: August 30th and 31st, with Monday, September 1st being an option, as it is Labor Day Weekend. Meeting at 7:00AM at Best Buy.
Directions: From I-5 South take Exit 188 for HWY 58 - Willamette Highway. Follow HWY 58 pass Willamette Pass and the small community of Crescent. Turn left at the Crescent Junction Cut-Off. After about 3 miles, take a left for the Cascade Lakes Highway. Follow the highway to the parking lot and trailhead markers for Green Lakes. Trailhead parking is near Sparks Lake, about 4.4 miles from Mount Bachelor. This hike is on page 134 in William L. Sullivan's Third Edition of "100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades".
Details: We will leave Best Buy promptly after 7:00AM. The drive will take a little less than 2 and half hours, by my estimates. We should reach the trailhead before 10:00AM. We will hike until about 12:00PM, and take our lunch along the creek, which has several viewable waterfalls along its path. After enjoying our lunches and relaxing some, we will continue on up the trail to Green Lakes, with views of Broken Top and South Sister becoming quite dominant along the trail. I plan on setting up camp at one of the designated camp sites along the lake. After setting up, we will take a enjoyable hike around the lake with views in all directions. We should return just in time to start dinner. We will have a great breakfast together in the morning, then break camp. The trail returns 4.4 miles back down to the trailhead, making for a 8.8 miles hike through dense forest, and along a creek with amazing waterfalls at every turn. Definitely bring your camera for this adventure.
YouTube Video of Green Lakes: http://youtu.be/XHuMocWlT4M
Contact: Matthew Howell - (541)[masked]
Forest Service: Bend and Fort Rock Ranger District - (541)[masked]
Requirements and Suggestions: I highly recommend light, quick drying clothing, and dressing in layers. Durable hiking boots or waterproof trail runners are highly encouraged. Due to colder evenings at higher elevations please be sure to pack a warm layer, such as a fleece jacket, down vest or jacket. The trailhead will be at 5440' and we will climb to about 6550', so please keep it in mind of the weather changes in higher elevation. Also remember to pack your ten essentials along with your overnight backpacking gear. No campfires are allowed at the designated campsites, or in the Three Sisters Wilderness. We can share stoves for cooking of meals.
Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Extra food and water
Headlamp or flashlight
First aid kit
Carpooling: We will arrange carpools in the morning. Please be sure to bring money to chip in for gas to the drivers. With the distance, I suggest a reasonable $15 to $20 to drivers for their contributions and for their vehicle's wear and tear.
Parking Passes and Forest Regulations: Green Lakes requires a Northwest Forest Pass or a $5 day fee and also a Wilderness Permit. The Wilderness Permit is free, and can be filled out at the trailhead. It simply helps the Forest Service keep track of how many people are on the trails on a given day. An annual Northwest Forest Pass is available for $30 at REI and other local sporting goods stores. Please bring it with you if you have one.
Please, no dogs on this hike.
* Also, the hike is limited to 12 hikers, due to the "12 Heartbeat Rule". In principle, the rule regulates the amount of foot traffic per group on the trail at one time. Pets count as a heartbeat. Many trails in the wilderness have this rule to keep the trails from being damaged from overuse by large groups, and to embrace the feeling of some solitude in the wilderness.