Broken Top Crater Hike: Three Sisters Wilderness

There’s only a short seasonal window for the hike to Broken Top Crater, one of the most protected lakes in the central Oregon cascades. It’s located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, at an elevation of 8,150 ft (2,484 m). The hike takes travelers up the slopes of Broken Top, an extinct and extensively glacially-eroded stratovolcano.

This trail is only open a few months in the summer, and getting to the trailhead requires slogging through deep ruts and rough roads. The actual hike starts at a canal called Crater Creek Ditch, and then leads up the mountain to a bowl-shaped moraine nestled on the mountain's east side. The trail ends with a deep, turquoise pool and a sweeping view of the Three Sisters and much of Eastern Oregon.

Please note that the trail is not officially recognized by the Forest Service, so hike carefully. Only drive past the Todd Lake parking area if you have a high-clearance vehicle. The trailhead can be found 1.3 miles down Route 380 at a "Broken Top Trailhead" sign. If you have a GPS device, the location here is 44°03.351'N, 121°40.527'W.

Add to the Discussion (1)


8 years ago

Are you planning a hike here?

You must Log In to send a new comment.
Central Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Greater Portland
The Gorge + Mt. Hood
Oregon Coast
Southern Oregon
Willamette Valley