South Sister Trail

Peak Summited2021 South Sister
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadDevil’s Lake Trailhead
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Trail was in good condition and snow free (except for summit crater, which can be and should be avoided).

We left the parking lot at 5:50am, and the parking lot was almost full.  The trail started through the forest and we had headlamps on for about 20 minutes, then switched them off to enjoy the early light.  We exited the trees and headed out onto the open trail that parallels Moraine Lake.  This trails goes on for a while and about the 3 mile mark, the trail starts to climb.  From here on out the loose, dusty ash and marble-like rocks litter the trail to the crater rim.  It is tough going, but finding firm rocks, well cut/compacted trail helps a lot.  This part is a grind, but looking up and enjoying the views and stopping at the glacier lake makes it worth it.  We reached the crater rim and took the trail around to the summit. We summited at 11, 5 hours after starting, had a snack, took some photos and headed down. We decided to retrace our route around the rim, instead of circumnavigating the cracker, as it looked a little dicy.

The way down was a lot easier, we slid down the top section – fun!  The long open trail beside Moraine Lake felt like it went on forever in the heat of the day.  We were happy to reach the trees and get some shade.  We finally reached the car after 8 hours (3 hours down) and cooled our legs in the very cold creek.

Great climb – thanks South Sister.


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