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Hike to Moraine Lake Beneath South Sister

Deschutes County, Oregon

5.0/5
based on 2 reviews

Details

Distance

5 miles

Elevation Gain

1476 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Sara Welge

A hidden gem between Broken Top and South Sister. A great backpacking trip for beginners and a good training trail for more experienced adventurers.

The lake is less than 3 miles from Devils Lake. Starting from the Trail head along Cascade Lakes Highway you gain 1,476 feet of elevation. You will follow the South Sisters Climbers trail, it is well traveled, and well marked. 

The majority of the elevation gain occurs in the first two miles, as you meander and climb through Doug Firs and Hemlocks. If it's windy, or gusting keep an eye on less stable trees. After the final push out of the canyon you will find your self on flatter ground, and the trees will begin to open up, and you will have views of the South Sister and Broken Top

As in life, you will reach a fork in the road you can continue heading north on the South Sisters climbers trail, or you can head North east on the Moraine Lake Trail. I choose to stay on the South Sister Climber's trail. A half mile past the first fork you will reach a second fork where you can continues on to summit the South Sisters or head East towards Moraine Lake. 

You will know it once you've arrived. If the stunning views of Broken Top and South Sister aren't enough the lake is beautiful gradient from turquoise to deep blue. There are clearly posted campsites along the ridges surrounding the lake(you will see a map of the campsites posted on the trail). 

Why do I like this hike so much? its got a little bit of everything. I can crank it out before work in a few hours, I can use it as a base camp to summit the South Sister, or as easy to get to campsite when I need to get out of town for the night. 

From the lake you can hike to Green Lakes, or if you are up for a little bit further adventure you can get all the way to No Name Lake by Broken top. The PCT is also accessible from the lake, as well as a slew of other hiking and back packing trails. Get out there and enjoy this spot

here are some of the adventures accessible from this lake.

Hike to Green Lakes

Hike to No Name Lake at Broken Top

Summit the South Sister

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Great spot to camp before and/or after hiking South Sister. The first part through the woods has lots of mosquitoes so bring bug spray. The hike to the lake is definitely a workout, especially with overnight gear, but worth it. The lake is cold, but refreshing to swim after hiking on a hot summer day. Lots of dispersed camping with beautiful views all around!

Just an amazing day when we went last year and the lake shines in the sun. Check the forecast for sun because this is great on a sunny day.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

South Sister via Devil's Lake Trailhead

Green Lakes Trail

Sparks Lake Loop

Boat-In Camping at Sparks Lake

Camp Along the Shore at Sparks Lake

Camp at Todd Lake