Green Lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness is among the most popular hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades.


We have hiked to Green Lakes multiple times. However, fewer hike this popular trail when the weather turns cold and cloudy. Our experience hiking to Green Lakes on 10-14-23 was the first we had this year. The trail passes to Green Lakes are so hard to get that if you are 30 seconds past 7 am on the US Forest Service website, you will be too late. Despite trying weekly all year, last Saturday, the last weekend of the year where passes are required, we finally obtained two. 

The weather was cloudy and cool, and during our hike the expected “ring of fire” eclipse occurred, resulting in a drop in temperature and a darker sky. However, after that event, the rest of our hike up to Green Lakes was uneventful, outside of hitting more and more snow the higher we climbed. At the second log bridge we put on our microspikes for safety against slippery conditions and the rest of the hike was fine. We had to do some postholing once we reached the first lake, but it was well worth the effort to travel to the far side which fewer people travel to, but is among our favorite spots due to the beautiful views of South Sister which can be mirrored in the lake. We also trekked a bit up the east side of the largest Green Lake, but decided against going further and returned back after enjoying lunch and the views.

On our hike back to the trailhead, we met a good number of hikers coming up in the later afternoon.  Our morning experience was solitary with no one visible during our hour at the lake.




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