Broken Top Loop

Backpack through high alpine wilderness with pristine lakes, glaciers and amazing views of Broken Top, The Three Sisters, and Mount Bachelor in Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness.

Getting There

Drive SR-97 to just south side of Bend. Depending on the trailhead take either Skyliners Road east toward Forest Road 4601 to get to the Park Meadow, Three Creek Meadow, Tam McArthur Rim, or Broken Top Trailheads or take the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway east past Mount Bachelor to get to the Green Lakes, Todd Lake, or Crater Ditch Trailheads 

On the Trail

This is a 20-25 mile loop hike depending on the starting point with ~2,800 feet of elevation gain and a high point of 7,700 ft. There are several trailheads for starting this hike. The most popular is Tam McArther Rim. The Broken Top Loop links these trails:

  • Little Three Creek Lake Trail
  • Park Meadow Trail
  • Green Lakes Trail
  • Broken Top Trail
  • Unmaintained use trail between Broken Hand and Tam McArthur Rim Trail - This is a 2.5 mile cross-country stretch that is easy to follow during summer months.
  • Tam McArthur Rim Trail

Camping

Camping areas are located at Park Meadow, Golden Lake (camp at least 250 feet from the lake), Green Lakes (camp only in designated campsites), and Creeks near the Crater Ditch and Broken Top Trail junctions. There is no camping at No Name Lake.

Suggested Itinerary

  • Most parties hike the loop in three days.
  • Hiking clockwise from the Tam McArthur Rim trail gets the climbing done first. But camping is limited to car campgrounds around Three Creek Lake between Park Meadow and the creeks between Crater Ditch and Broken Top junctions, a 14-15 mile stretch of trail that includes the northeast burn section, car campground area, cross-country section, and No Name Lake/Bend Glacier area.
  • An alternative to the loop is to start at the Todd Lake, Crater Ditch, or Broken Top trailheads. Day 1 hike to a base camp at a creek camp near Crater Ditch/Broken Top junction, then climb to the Bend Glacier/No Name Lake area and back. Day 2 hike clockwise to either Golden Lake or Park Meadow Camp. Day 3 Hike back out to the trailhead. This is not a loop but avoids the burn and car camp areas on the northeast and the cross-country stretch. It captures the best camps and views in the area.

Notes

  • The south and west side of this hike is the most scenic. The north side goes through an area that was burned in 2012 and the east side passes through a road and car campground.
  • This is on the east side of the Cascade Crest so it is somewhat dryer and sometimes there are thunderstorms
  • Mosquitoes can be bad here especially during early summer months.
  • Most entry for both day and overnight use requires a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 25.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft
  • 7,700 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Bend - Three Sisters No. 622SX
  • Green Trails Broken Top No. 622
Activities

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