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

  • 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 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.
  • 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

Permit Info: There are two types of entry permits required between June 15 and October 15 for entering Three Sisters 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 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
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


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Area/Length : 
281,190 Acres

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2000 feet - 10358 feet