If you are looking for a beautiful hike in the Three Sisters Wilderness near Bend, Oregon, perhaps you should try the day hike from Todd Lake to Green Lakes.
The trail meanders through alpine meadows and gives hikers fantastic views of Broken Top Mountain, and the South Sister.
View a photo gallery of the Todd Lake to Green Lakes hike.
The hike from Todd Lake to Green lakes is a great alternative to the Broken Top Trail because you do not need a high-clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. After parking in the Todd Lake parking area, walk up the trail toward Todd Lake to the wilderness registration station, and you will see the sign that marks the start of the Todd Lake Trail.
After you complete your Three Sisters Wilderness self-registration, you can just follow the trail and start climbing the slope east of the lake. While climbing you will have some views of the Todd Lake, as well as the surrounding mountains, so be sure to bring your camera.
The trail will level off after about a mile and you will pass through some meadows, and from there you will have fantastic views of Broken Top and South Sister as you walk along the forested trail.
After a mile or so the trail will cross Soda Creek and you will enter a basin that is south of Broken Top. The Soda Creek Trail will cross from the left at a junction that is well marked, and you will continue straight ahead in the direction of Broken Top and Green Lakes.
You will cross Crater Creek and start to climb toward Cayuse Crater, which is a red cinder cone on the south ridge of Broken Top, and the trail will end at the junction with the Broken Top Trail. At the junction you will turn left and continue on to Green Lakes. The signage at the junctions along the trail are well marked, and you will want to go in the direction that points to Green Lakes.
Most of the hike into the Green Lakes is uphill, but does not involve real strenuous climbing, however what makes this a challenging hike is the total mileage involved, which is about 12 miles round trip, which is why I call this a difficult hike.
For more information on this hike, visit the Oregon Outdoor Activities website.