A backpacking trip from the Obsidian Trailhead to The Husband and Chambers Lakes in the Three Sisters Wilderness is a beautiful hiking option that will make for a great adventure with both the less-experienced and well-traveled backpacker. The trip offers a there-and-back or loop route that crosses or at times shares the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Along the way you will find numerous lakes (in addition to The Husbands and Chambers), views of Obsidian Falls, creek crossings and dramatic panoramas of the Three Sisters at almost all times.
In terms of the level of challenge, the hike is relatively mellow for 24 miles. While there is a considerable gain in elevation starting immediately from the trailhead, once you arrive at the lava fields above, the terrain is relatively flat. For a majority of your mileage you will be meandering through well-maintained trials flanked by an exceptional amount of obsidian rock.
When it comes to finding a campsite, you will have numerous options along the trial and near the lakes. Camping at lower elevations (e.g. Eileen Lake, Husbands Lake) will be more sheltered than the higher-elevation Chambers Lake. The lakes and the handful of creeks that run alongside the trial throughout the hike provide plenty of options to filter water or taking a refreshing dip.
This adventure is also a great selection for photographers. In addition to nearly constant views of the Three Sisters and the occasional view of Three Fingered Jack, the lakes allow for mountain-reflection shots and the dark night skies allow for vibrant long exposures.
Note: The Obsidian Limited Entry Area Permit is required for all day-hikes and overnight camping in the restricted area along with a NW Forest Pass. Contact the McKenzie River Ranger Station at 541.822.3381 for more information.