We have lived in Central Oregon since 1985, but during this entire time we have never hiked to Camp Lake. The start of this hike is located just outside Sisters off McKenzie Hwy on Forest Road 15 at the Pole Creek Trailhead. The hike into Camp Lake covers 7.1 miles (14.2 miles round trip), the first 4 through a burned forest, the result of 2017's Milli Fire. However, it is interesting to see how new plant growth is returning in the burned area. And the open areas provide for wonderful views of both Middle and North Sister.
Once we left the burned forest and entered the higher elevations, we had the opportunity to cross the North Fork of Whychus Creek and hike even closer to Middle Sister. Several trails off the main trail lead to the summit of Middle Sister, a hike only for very experienced hikers with recommendations for climbing gear. Our hike left Middle Sister at this point and traveled further southwest to end at Camp Lake, part of the Chambers Lake series of high elevation lakes in the area, at the base of South Sister. Many campers stay in this area - hiking in and enjoying the area before leaving the next day. The elevation change over the 7.1 miles is just shy of 1700 ft (5300 ft at the trailhead to 6980 at Camp Lake), but it is gradual enough that many take this hike, including children. The books call this a difficult hike, but we would call it more moderate - just longer than many other hikes in the area.
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