Broken Top/Northwest Ridge

Scramble to the summit of one of the rugged Oregon volcanoes.

getting there

From Portland, take SR-26 east through Government Camp.  Then take US-97 south to Bend.  Take SW Century Dr/Hwy 372/46 west toward Mount Bachelor.  SW Century Dr becomes Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway.  Continue to Sparks Lake, about 5 mi past the Bachelor Ski area.  The Green Lakes trailhead parking area (5,450 ft) is just across the road from Sparks Lake. It's about 7 hours from Seattle.


Hike the trail into Green Lakes; it's about 4.5 mi and is flat.  Camping is limited, especially on nice weekends. From the intersection at the south end of Green Lakes, hike toward the notch in the northwest ridge where the barren ridge meets the treed portion of the ridge.  Find a trail after passing the camping areas just up the slope from the lakes.


Follow the northwest ridge up to the 10-15 foot high rock band.  Look for the crack in the band that can be easily ascended.  Another way is to go about 60 feet south to a where the band narrows down to about 6 feet.  However, it has more loose scree. After the band, head up the scree until you find a scree slope that runs south between the rock band of the summit block and a lower rock band.  Follow this until the trail on the summit ridge can be easily attained.  Follow the ridge trail north to the summit.  There isn't a lot of room on the summit.


Reverse the ascent route.


  • Guidebook: Best Climbs: Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot (FalconGuides 2012).
  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 3, Technical 4
  • Length: 12.0 None
  • Elevation Gain: 3,450 ft
  • 9,175 ft
  • USGS Broken Top, OR
  • Green Trails Bend - Three Sisters No. 622SX
  • Green Trails Broken Top No. 622
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