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Challenging, epic views!

This was a wonderful day hike, which we did to celebrate our anniversary! Due to the steepness of... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
yellowbfly
,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
South Sister

I have done this hike seven times. I have taken my own children at age 8 and 9, relatives of all... read more

Reviewed August 22, 2019
mistyschulz
,
Woodburn, Oregon
via mobile
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Reviewed August 22, 2019 via mobile

I have done this hike seven times. I have taken my own children at age 8 and 9, relatives of all ages, my spouse, and friends to this awe-inspiring summit. The trail starts steep to a Moraine Lake overlook. Then it continues along a pumice plateau. After this the trail gets steeper again on a rocky trail to Lewis Glacier and its cirque lake. From here the trail turns to cinder where views steadily improve. Word to the wise- don't try to hold yourself back when descending here just go down the hill quickly and gently step. It can hurt your knees to try to hold back. When ascending here just stop for lots of short catch your breath breaks with lots of water-don't forget to fill up at the cirque lake! At the summit, Teardrop Pool is lovely colored around mid August to Labor Dayish. I have seen it not yet melted at the beginning of August. Gorgeous views of Green Lakes with Broken Top and Chambers Lakes with Middle and North Sister as well as half the state on a clear day all the way to California and Washington peaks in the Cascades.

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank mistyschulz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2019

My husband and I hiked this eight years ago, totally unprepared. I don't recommend anyone doing that. This time, we took our daughter and son-in-law. We had plenty of food, water, caps, sunscreen and insect repellent as well as trekking poles and sunglasses. Not to be overly dramatic, but plan to shed some blood, sweat, AND tears...it is a HARD hike but the sense of accomplishment coupled with the spectacular views not only at the summit but for a good deal of the trek made it well worth it.

Date of experience: July 2019
2  Thank pammyomammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2019

South Sister is a strenous trek to the summit but so worth the incredible view from the top of the Cascade Range. It is one of my favorites. Check the conditions and weather before starting the hike.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank SUSANR738
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2019

I wanted to climb South Sister back in 2017 when I was up there to see the total eclipse. But the smoke from nearby wildfires kind of killed my motivation. However, I have wanted to hike this peak for a LONG time, and knew I would get back to it. That day finally came about a year later in July of 2018. And it was DEFINITELY worth the wait!

I have to admit that, with everything I have heard about this hike, I was somewhat intimidated by it. But it turned out to not be nearly as bad as I feared. Make no mistake, this is a challenging hike. Given the distance and altitude gain, it is on a somewhat similar level of difficulty with Yosemite’s Half Dome. But it is definitely doable. Just find a pace that you find manageable, and you will make it up.

The beginning of the hike is mostly wooded. As you climb this first mile (or so) through forest, you will get some occasional views to the south toward Diamond Peak. But for the most part, it is a nice hike through the woods that adds some variety to the hike.

After passing a large rock at a switchback on this section, the trees open up to reveal your goal ahead. This section of trail is has a rather parklike feel to it, with scattered clumps of trees and wildflowers. The trail is also rather wide and open here. And, at least for a little while, it is fairly level. Toward the right, you can see Moraine Lake below and Broken Top further in the distance.

But soon enough, the climbing begins once again. As you climb, the views to the south become ever more expansive and the trees become thinner. The steepness also picks up pace, particularly in the section just before the base of Lewis Glacier.

Lots of people like to stop and rest at the flat area at the base of Lewis Glacier. At this point, you get a nice view of the glacier and the unnamed greenish tarn at the base of it (this is NOT Teardrop Pool, which is actually on the summit). The summit doesn’t look too far from here, but the climb is still significant from here.

As you continue to climb, the trail gets steeper and more gravelly as it climbs up like an escalator to the sky. You get GREAT views of the glacier and various peaks and lakes to the south.

Eventually, you come to the summit area. At this point, you can hike around the crater or cross the snowfield to get to the true summit. From the true summit, you may get to see Teardrop Pool in the crater (depending on time of year). But the view to the north is STUNNING, with Middle and North Sisters seemingly a stone’s throw away. Beyond that, you can see a line of volcanoes leading all the way up into Washington (including Jefferson, Hood, and Adams). To the south, you can see down to Mount McLoughlin, and maybe even Shasta on a clear day(?). DEFINITELY take some time to enjoy the view before heading back down.

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank StorminMatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2019

Parking is limited at the trail head. Lots of other places to go if you can't get in. Best to have a plan B. Go during the week and avoid the weekends.

Date of experience: July 2018
2  Thank Kevin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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