Three Sisters Wilderness: Willamette


Images Three Sister Wilderness Obsidian

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. 

Three Sisters Wilderness area covers 281,190 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.

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

The Three Sisters Wilderness became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System with the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Know Before You Go

  • Starting in 2021, all overnight and some day use visitors to the Three Sisters Wilderness must carry a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit if visiting between the first Friday following Memorial Day and the last Friday in September.
  • Wilderness Permits are required when visiting the Three Sisters Wilderness between the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and October 31.
  • Learn about Wilderness Regulations, including special area regulations in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
  • ''Leave No Trace'' techniques are encouraged in Wilderness areas, including properly disposing of human and pet waste and carrying out all trash; learn how to Leave No Trace.
  • There are no facilities within the Three Sisters Wilderness.
  • Find out about the Weed Free Feed Requirement and other good Know Before You Go tips.


Image of Wildflowers Three Sisters Wilderness Image of Wildflowers Linton Meadows Three Sisters Wilderness Image of Three Sisters from the Mt Washington Wilderness Image of Stream Three Sister Wilderness Image of Spring thaw Arrowhead Lake Three Sisters Wilderness

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Starting in 2021, visitors to the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas will require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for overnight use and some will require one for day-use. Learn more.
Permit Info:
  • Wilderness Permits are required when visiting the Three Sisters Wilderness between the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and October 31.
  • Self issue wilderness permits are required between Memorial Day and October 31.
  • Limited Entry Permits are required for both overnight and day visits to the Obsidian Area starting Memorial Day Weekend through October 31, 2016. Reserve at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Usage: Heavy
Water: Always carry water or a way to purify water.
Passes: Some trailheads require a recreation pass. Check our Recreation Passes & Permits page for details
Information Center: McKenzie River Ranger District

General Information


The Three Sisters Wilderness can be accessed by many trailheads on the Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest.

General Notes:

For trail information see:

Close to:

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 here.

Buy maps online

Go to the National Forest Store. 

Go to for online maps and other important Wilderness information.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Areas & Activities



  Area/Length : 
281,190 Acres

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2000 feet - 10358 feet