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Backpacking - Green Lakes

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.

Ten Essentials:

Maps

Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)

Sunglasses and sunscreen

Extra food and water

Extra clothes

Headlamp or flashlight

First aid kit

Fire starter

Matches

Knife

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.

 

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  • Sandor L.

    On the Sunday of the trip, Matt and I went to Park Meadow and Golden Lake. Everytrail is famously buggy, so my pictures did not all load but you can see the path to get there from Green Lakes if you ever have the inclination: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2961388

    2 · September 7, 2014

  • Renee

    Thanks again!!

    2 · September 1, 2014

  • Renee

    I'm so sorry that Ben and I had to leave the group Sat evening. I hope everyone had a fabulous day Sunday & today. Justin, I will bring you your brown bag (with coffee flask) -- I am up in Corvallis every weekend and can drive over to Albany easily. I'll also be at the Alsea Falls hike. Let me know.

    1 · September 1, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Things worked out well. I felt it was best to hike out with some of the group, partly for safety. I slept in my car for the night, then hiked back to camp in the morning. I learned some valuable things as well. Thank you for being helpful and understanding. I value the safety of each and every member, and sometimes tough decisions must be made. Hope to see you on more trips in the future.

      1 · September 1, 2014

    • Monique

      Renee and Ben I was one of the ones who hiked out and drove home after 730PM. You made a great choice for you. I wish I had keft when you did. I had to remind myslef I tell my kids all the time to do what works for them and their well being before I was willing to go. Go I did!

      Maybe we can make another outing happen with better weather?!?

      1 · September 1, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    A wonderful backpacking trip, and experience. Always good to learn new things to help us improve. Thank you to everyone for being so helpful towards each other, and respectful to those that felt they needed to leave due to weather. Each person's own safety is very important. A little lesson for us all. I saw lots of smiles and people working together to enjoy a great trip. I hope everyone has a good experience, and enjoyed their time up there. The weather did clear, and we had an amazing day of sunshine while exploring out to Golden Lake and Park Meadows. Once again, thank you all for coming. I hope you decide to join me again for more upcoming trips.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • David Y.

    Great location. Lots to see. Bad weather to start, but cleared up and was magnificent! Thanks Matthew.

    2 · September 1, 2014

  • Renee

    Everyone -- again my apologies (especially Matthew!). I learned a lot about my cold/wet weather gear on this trip.

    2 · September 1, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      No worries, Renee. All part of the learning process. I'm glad you came, and were able to gain some experience. Hope to see you on another trip soon.

      1 · September 1, 2014

  • Meng

    I enjoyed the trip and gained valuable experience. Thanks to all! Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lumeng/sets/72157646716526968/

    2 · September 1, 2014

  • Monique

    The hike was beautiful. The area was beautiful. The folks were AWESOME. I would give this event 6 stars but the weather wasn't what Matt ordered.

    I want to go back another time.

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • David Y.

    Thanks Matt! Awesome trip again!! REALLY glad i stuck out the bad weather by hunkering down for the night. Next morning was glorious. Monday was even more beautiful! Hiked up to a beautiful waterfall. Great trip.

    2 · September 1, 2014

    • Monique

      Yes but you weren't willing to share your cuddle buddy!

      I am glad the weather cooperated for you guys.

      1 · September 1, 2014

  • Kelsey

    Hi there, my husband and mother and have been planning a separate backpacking to Green Lakes this weekend as well, Saturday and Sunday nights. We are taking another route in, but feel free to stop by our camp if you see us! We'll be doing the South Sister on Sunday. Maybe we'll see you there.

    1 · August 30, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    Seeking replies from Aaron, Allison, Mengting, Billy, James, and Meng, for staying one or two nights.

    August 26, 2014

    • Meng

      Ye,s I've been to Grand Canyon R2R once, and have hiked for various distances in many places. Maybe it's my use of the word 'campground' made you think I'm totally inexperienced. Campground, campsites, I wasn't thinking when typing it. I just meant any designated place for people to set up tents. No need to worry.

      1 · August 28, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Thank you for clarifying. I just wanted to make sure. Looking forward to meeting you this weekend. It should be a great trip.

      August 28, 2014

  • Sandor L.

    I have been reading about Park Meadows in Sullivan's book and it sounds amazing. As he describes it, "Long-time outdoorsmen often have a 'secret spot' in the wilderness--an alpine lakelet or a hidden wildflower meadow whose beauty they will describe to you in glowing terms." Matt mentioned this one in an early comment. Anyone else in for this Sat. after making camp or Sunday? Here's a further description: http://goo.gl/pPCORJ

    1 · August 28, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      It would be a day hike from Green Lakes. There is a lot of great places to explore around that area, so if you are adventurous, we shall enjoy a great weekend. Your link is great. I'll have to checkout that site more often.

      August 28, 2014

    • Monique

      Trimble Outdoors was probably the best $30 I have spent online. It is a local company; I can make my own maps before I head out; i can map as I go (and compare to the map I pre-made; love the ability to download maps to my phone as I need them; it is a great company/program.

      1 · August 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am getting my 1 person tent and also my the sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I can't not find the map of three sister wilderness{It actually sold out}. Is that really for me important to have that map in order for this trip. Also, I bought some food for this trip.

    1 · August 28, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      You will be fine. I will have a map, as well as others. We can share and help each other out.

      August 28, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    Some spots may be opening up for others to attend. This is due to a few that I feel might be a bit unprepared for backpacking. If I feel someone is not prepared to do this trip, I will let them know. This is both for their own safety, as well as the safety of the group.

    August 28, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Here is a video of the trip from last year. Also for some to see what to expect while backpacking to and from Green Lakes. http://youtu.be/XHuMo...­

      August 28, 2014

  • Monique

    I carry and use a one person tent. I do have a 3 person (realistically 2) tent. Weighs 6 pounds and is easy for two persons to split carrying it. Let me know.

    1 · August 27, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Mengting will be needing a tent. Feel free to bring your 3 person tent. I will as well. Come Saturday morning we can figure out if people want to share tents to save space at the designated spot. I will be loaning her some of my extra gear, to help her enjoy her first experience with backpacking. Any help from others will also be appreciated.

      1 · August 27, 2014

    • Monique

      I use an inline filter but do have an additional Sawyer squeeze filter if someone wants to try it out. Let me know.

      1 · August 28, 2014

  • Billy M.

    Sorry to back out at short notice!! I ripped my big toenail out doing some surfing, so hiking anywhere is out of the question for me. Have a great time though!!!

    2 · August 28, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Hope to see you on another trip once healed.

      August 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    the only concern that i have is that my four season tent. i do not want to carry it all the way with me during my hiking. i have done before and it really heavy and that is not fun. i was wondering can I sleep in the van or I can bring this tent but not carry it with me. i can put that in the car however I just do not know whether we need to carry tent and sleep in our way or we have to be back and sleep in the campground?

    August 27, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Here is a list of what you would need. http://www.meetup.com...­

      August 27, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      I will be bringing some extra gear to loan out, if anyone needs to use them. I also will be sharing my water filter, stove, and various gear, if needed.

      August 27, 2014

  • Sandor L.

    I have an extra summer tent Mengting or someone else can borrow. I think it is 8 lbs, not exactly light, but not too heavy. My driving plan would be to leave early on Mon. morning. If I do not have passengers, I will stop to visit my parents in La Pine on way back home on Monday.

    1 · August 27, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Thanks for offering to share any gear you may have. I have a three person tent I can also loan out to anyone needing to share a tent. I believe I will be using my hammock on this trip. Otherwise, I'm just going to sleep out under the stars.

      August 27, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    I have gotten replies from Tina, Sandor, Kathy, David, and Monique, about staying for two nights. I would appreciate hearing from others before the trip. I have room in my car for others to ride with me. I can make room for about three backpacks, depending on size. I will also have a small cooler to leave cold drinks in. It's nice to have a cold drink to return to after a long backpacking trip. As a driver, I will also be stopping somewhere on the way back, as it is a long drive. Please respect that as a passenger, and understand that a driver has just done the same hike you have, and also needs to be able to drive everyone home safely. I plan on stopping at Manley's for some broasted chicken. If that is something that sounds good to you, you are welcome to ride with me.

    1 · August 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Chicken!! that sounds awesome for me !

      1 · August 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    hey is that anyone will share the space tent with me cause i do not want to bring the 4 season tent that is really heavy. i am Ok with 2 night (august 30 and 31).

    August 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    i have really heavy tent(like four season tent). is anyone has one more spot that i can share with them? i really do not want to bring that 4 season tent!

    August 27, 2014

  • Allison

    Hi everyone, it looks like I am going to have to back out of this trip. I've been traveling a lot this month and I don't think I can get things together in time to make it without a lot of added stress. I hope I'm giving enough time for someone else to take my spot, have a really great time, and I'll catch you on a day hike soon I hope!

    August 26, 2014

  • Monique

    So if you are in the Albany/Corvallis/Philomath area and want a ride from Corvallis to Springfield please let me know. I drive a mini-van with comfortable room for 3 other adults and packs.

    1 · August 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well Monique you are in luck for one spot as I tweaked my knee on a hike today. Wish I didn't have to say it but I am going to have to relinquish my spot.

    August 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I think it is minor but don't want to make it worse or hold up the group. Thanks for your concern.

      2 · August 25, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Sorry to hear, Jean. Hope to see you on another trip.

      1 · August 25, 2014

  • Monique

    Nothing personal but I hope someone(s) drop out so my *people* can join me. In the likely event that my *people* can not join us I have a mini-van and can comfortably transport three others and their gear. If my *people* can join us I have room for one other adult and their gear. I have a FS annual pass. I am down for one or two nights and will prepare for two nights.

    1 · August 24, 2014

  • Sandor L.

    I'm planning on two nights.

    1 · August 24, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    I most likely will be driving. I have room for three passengers and gear. I plan on taking my hammock to sleep in, but I have a three person backpacking tent I can share or loan out, if needed. With allowing 12 people to go, we will need some people to share tents to save on campsite space. If you have just a small one person tent, it should be fine.

    June 2, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will let you know by message to this site before I lose coverage while I am on my way. Anything I should know about the place to meet you at the trail head?

      August 24, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      I will check on here the night before I leave, as Saturday morning I will be using that time to get myself ready, and to Best Buy to be with the group. If I don't see a message, I will look for you at the trailhead signs that are marked for the Green Lakes Trail. Please be in that area, and ready. Due to travel in separate vehicles, traffic, and so on, I can only estimate our arrival time. That is a main reason I prefer the group to go together, that we all arrive together. Arrival time can be between 9:30AM and 10:30AM. I know that is a wide time frame, but like I said, it's hard to estimate times with travel. Hope to see you there.

      August 24, 2014

  • Allison

    Hi all, can I get a sense of whether this is likely to remain a 1 day or become a 2 day trip? I initially said I'd be down for a 2 day but I've been traveling a lot lately, and think I'd actually prefer to stick to the original 1 day. I need to make cat care arrangements soon too. Which way are people leaning?

    August 22, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      I will be going for two nights, and will be driving. Those that would like to stay for the two nights can ride with me. If there are others wishing to do just one night, there can be a car or two for them as well. Thanks for the heads up, Allison.

      August 24, 2014

  • Barbara

    Too much going on. I'll let someone else take my spot.

    1 · August 21, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      See you on another hike, Barbara.

      August 21, 2014

    • Barbara

      Looking forward to the next one!

      1 · August 24, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    A few ideas for exploring once set up at camp are to head up and over to Park Meadows, and hidden Golden Lake. We can do that on Sunday as well. Another idea is to do South Sister. The lakes are great for swimming, and I'm hoping for great weather. We will need to keep an eye on the wildfires and any updates. Not to scare anyone off, but it pays to be prepared and to know about your surroundings at all times. I look forward to the trip, and meeting a lot of you for the first time.

    August 14, 2014

  • Sandor L.

    I can drive but have tiny car. Can fit two passengers and gear.

    August 14, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      We will try to get people into four cars, if possible. The trailhead parking lots fill up quick, so these least amount of cars we can take, the better. I think some people are going for two nights, and some just for one night. Thanks for offering to drive, greatly appreciated.

      August 14, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    I'm very excited for this trip! Always a lot of fun, and great to see the expressions on peoples faces the first time they have seen new places. Bring a towel, the lakes are great for swimming in. This is what last year's trip looked like: http://youtu.be/XHuMocWlT4M

    August 7, 2014

    • David Y.

      Kathy and i are still going:-)

      1 · August 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Still planning on it

    1 · August 7, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    As this trip grows nearer, I ask that each person take the time to update their RSVP. With this being a popular trip, and with people on the waiting list, I want to make sure that those that have said they are going, are indeed going to go. Thanks.

    August 6, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    Who else is interested in doing two nights? Make the most of the weekend and do some exploring.

    1 · July 9, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      We would stay at one base camp, as they can be hard to come by.

      July 10, 2014

    • Allison

      I'm down for 2 nights as well

      1 · July 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We'll be on the Lost Coast Trail :-)

    1 · June 15, 2014

    • Matthew H.

      Have a safe and fun trip!

      June 23, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      You as well!

      1 · July 5, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    I plan on driving my car. I can take three passengers with me. Depending on the size of packs, I can get three, possibly four, in the trunk. I have a Northwest Forest Pass, and have driven to this trailhead many times. With it being Labor Day weekend, we will need to make finding a campsite a high priority. That is part of the reason of the early start time. Once we have set up camp, we can go exploring, as well as swim in the lakes. I would like to stay an extra night, and head home on Monday. Also, I plan on hiking out along the Soda Creek Trail, like the write up states. It's a beautiful trail with amazing views. I plan to pack in some adult beverages to share. Feel free to bring some, if you would like. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask.

    June 23, 2014

  • Matthew H.

    For new members, as well as for those that are new to backpacking; if you are interested in going, but don't have much gear, contact me. I have a lot of extra backpacking gear, and should be able to help you out. I have a multi day backpack, a sleeping pad, a three person tent you can sleep in, multiple water bottles, and small essentials, like extra headlamps, and more. Just let me know, and I can help you out. I'm always willing to help someone get outdoors and experience new places.

    June 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a one person bivvy.

    1 · June 3, 2014

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