Three Sisters Wilderness: Deschutes


Three Sisters Wilderness

Three Sisters Wilderness area covers 286,708 total acres. There are approximately 260 miles of trail within the wilderness. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail traverses the wilderness for 40 miles. Most trails entering the wilderness begin in dense forests of Douglas-fir on the western slopes of the Cascades and ponderosa pine on the eastern slopes.

Major peaks are: the North, Middle, and South Sisters (all above 10,000'), along with Broken Top, the best example in the Pacific Northwest of the effect of glaciation. Collier Glacier is the largest glacier in Oregon. Other geologic features include Rock Mesa, Collier Cone, and Yapoah Crater. Alpine meadows, waterfalls, lava fields, glaciers, and glacial lakes are abundant. Fish populations include brook and rainbow trout.

Forest in this Wilderness consists mainly of Douglas-fir, silver fir, sub-alpine fir, mountain hemlock, western hemlock, true fir, lodgepole pine, and ponderosa pine. Alpine meadows are abundant. 

Help protect your Wilderness! Key areas in the Three Sisters Wilderness are heavily used.  Recreation related impacts include: opportunities for solitude, loss of vegetation, soil compaction, erosion, loss of woody debris and waste and sanitation issues. Help reduce impacts by following Wilderness regulations and the 7 Leave No Trace stewardship principles.

 

  • Three Sisters Wilderness Georeferenced Permit Map

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    This map highlights which trailheads require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for day use and those trailheads with day use opportunities requiring a free, self-issue permit at the trailhead.

 

At a Glance

Current Conditions:

Visitors to the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness areas require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for all overnight use and some require one for day-use.

Fees: Trails in the Three Sisters Wilderness area require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for ALL overnight use and SOME require one for day-use.
  • Day and Overnight visitorsCentral Cascades Wilderness Permit required for ALL overnight and SOME day-use sites between June 15 and October 15.
  • Recreation.gov processing fees are $1/permit for day use, $6/permit for group/overnight use.
  • Reserve a permit at Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. 
Permit Info: There are two types of entry permits required between June 15 and October 15 for entering all designated wilderness areas.
  • Central Cascades Wilderness Permits are required between June 15 and October 15 for all overnight use in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness areas. Some day use in these wilderness areas also require these permits. Check out Recreation.gov for more information.
  • At all other wilderness areas free, unlimited self-issue permits at trailheads are required from June 15 and October 15.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:
  • Wilderness restrictions apply
  • View maps of areas where camping/campfire/dog restrictions apply: Dog leash restrictionsCamp ChambersGreen LakesMatthieu Lakes, Golden LakeMoraine LakesSisters Mirror.
  • Stock users must use weed-free feed; click here for more information.
  • Motorized and mechanical equipment (including bicycles and drones) are prohibited in the wilderness.
  • Groups must be under 12 people and 12 head of stock.
  • Build campfires at least 100 feet away from water.
  • Pack in / Pack out!
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints”—please refrain from cutting, damaging or gathering vegetation or other forest items, i.e. rocks, etc.
  • Please bury human waste 6-8” deep and at least 200’ away from water.
Closest Towns: Bend, Oregon; Sisters, Oregon
Passes: Some trailheads require a recreation pass. Check our Recreation Passes & Permits page for details. 
Information Center:

General Information

General Notes:

Topo Maps

Belknap Springs, Black Crater, Broken Top, Cougar Reservoir, Crane Prairie, Elk Lake, French Mountain, Harvey Mountain, Irish Mountain, Linnton Lake, Mt. Bachelor, North Sister, Packsaddle Mountain, South Sister, Sunstitute Point, Trout Creek Butte, Tumalo Falls, Waldo Mountain. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps.

Buy maps online

Go to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map store: https://store.usgs.gov/maps

Wilderness.net

Go to Wilderness.net for online maps and other important Wilderness information.

Know Before You Go

  • All overnight and some day use visitors to the Three Sisters Wilderness must carry a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit if visiting between June 15 and October 15.
  • Learn about Wilderness Regulations, including special area regulations in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
  • ''Leave No Trace'' techniques are encouraged in Wilderness areas, including properly disposing of human and pet waste and carrying out all trash.
  • There are no facilities within the Jefferson Park area or the Wilderness area.
  • Find out about the Weed Free Feed Requirement and other good Know Before You Go tips.

Directions:

Trail and trailhead access to Three Sisters Wilderness:

From Bend, OR via Highway 46- Cascade Lakes Highway:

From Sisters, OR via Highway 242 and Forest Service Roads 15 and 16:

From the Willamette Valley via Old McKenzie Highway (State 242):


Activities

Day Hiking

Backpacking

Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities