Take the Path Off the Green Lakes Trail to Find this Hidden Gem
We have hiked the Green Lakes trail into the Three Sisters Wilderness many times over the years we have lived in Central Oregon. Located off the Cascade Lakes Highway, the hike to Green Lakes is among the most popular in the Cascades and is well worth the experience; we have blogged about this hike in the past - see our Green Lakes Blog. Today, however, we took the path to the left at roughly 2 miles into the Green Lakes hike and walked another 1.5 miles to find Moraine Lake.
The path from the Green Lakes trail took us through old growth forest with beautiful trees and absolute silence. It is the end of October and the normal summer crowds have disappeared so the quiet was well appreciated. A bit further on we passed by the moraine which was created by a long gone glacier which used to exist on the flanks of South Sister. The hike climbed roughly 1000 feet and we stopped once we reached Moraine Lake. Options include continuing on and connecting with the trail which takes you to the top of South Sister, or take this trail just part way up and come back on a loop down the canyon around the far side of Moraine Lake. Connecting with the South Sister trail can enable hikers to return to the South Sister trailhead at Devil's Lake. We returned to the Green Lakes trail and back to our car parked in the trailhead parking lot.
Make sure you complete your Wilderness Pass permit and have the National Forest pass as well for your car; you can purchase this at the trailhead for $5 per day or get an annual pass for $30 at the ranger station on Century Drive or any of the outdoor recreation shops in Bend.
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