Middle Sister

A beautiful, moderate alpine volcano climb in the Three Sisters Wilderness of central Oregon. Enjoy spectacular view of nearby volcanic peaks in the Sisters and Bend area. Consider a traverse that includes North Sister, South Sister and/or Broken Top.

getting there

From SR-242, turn left (south) onto Forest Road 15 and drive ~7 miles. Bear left onto Forest Road 1524 and follow it to to the Pole Creek Trailhead (5,290 ft).

Approach & Ascent

middle sister (10,047 ft)

14 miles round trip with  4,500 feet of elevation gain, difficulty: Basic Alpine climb

 Hike the the Pole Creek trail for 5 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation gain to camp at timberline and the foot of the Hayden Glacier. Climb another 3,000 feet in about 2 miles takes to reach the summit. Travel is mostly on snow in late spring and early summer.  Late summer and fall the route is mostly a rock and scree scramble.

Middle Sister (10,047 ft), South Sister (10,358 ft) & Broken Top (9,175 ft)

40 miles one-way with 14,000 feet of elevation gain, difficulty: basic alpine climb

A  one-way traverse from the Pole Creek Trailhead to the Three Creek Lake Trailhead climbing Middle Sister, South Sister, and Broken Top along the way. Middle Sister/North Ridge is a basic alpine climb but has very steep snow and possibly ice on the North Ridge. South Sister/East Route is a scramble, and Broken Top/Northwest Ridge is a Class 3-4 scramble with a one 10-foot low Class 5 section. Here's a suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1: Drive to Sisters, OR.  Leave a car at Three Creek Trailhead and then drive to the Pole Creek Trailhead. Hike to Soap Creek at treeline and the base of the Hayden Glacier.
  • Day 2: Climb the North Ridge of Middle Sister and return to Soap Creek.
  • Day 3: Hike from Soap Creek to Green Lakes.
  • Day 4:  Climb the East Route of South Sister and return to Green Lakes.
  • Day 5: Climb the Northwest Ridge of Broken Top descend to the saddle at 7,900 ft. Traverse on the north and east side of Broken Top to connect to the Tam MacArthur Rim Trail, and descend to the Three Creek Lake Trailhead.


  • Guidebook: Best Climbs: Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot (FalconGuides 2012).
  • Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb
  • Length: 14.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,500 ft
  • 10,047 ft
  • Green Trails Bend - Three Sisters No. 622SX
  • USGS Trout Creek Butte, OR
  • USGS South Sister, OR
  • Green Trails Three Sisters No. 621
  • USGS Broken Top, OR
  • Green Trails Broken Top No. 622
  • USGS North Sister, OR
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Middle Sister/North Ridge
  • Middle Sister, South Sister & Broken Top Traverse

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.