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Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike

The Husband + Chambers Lakes via Obsidian Trailhead

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike

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  • Starting off through a thick forest of mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana). - Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Stopping off at the Three Sisters Wilderness boundary and warning sign for limited entry area located roughly 0.5 miles up the trail.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Obsidian flow originating from the Collier Cone.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Obsidian along the trail.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Obsidian Falls, Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Obsidian sparkles as hikers travel south along the Pacific Crest Trail.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Middle Sister (right, 10,047 ft) from the PCT.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • First glimpse of South Sister (10,358 ft) en route to Chambers Lakes.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Distant view south of Diamond Peak (8,743 ft).- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Trail through forest dominated by mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) between PCT and Eileen Lake.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Linton Meadows on the west side of the Three Sisters, between Middle Sister and The Husband.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Crossing over Linton Creek en route to Eileen Lake.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • View north to Mount Washington (7,795 ft), Three Fingered Jack (7,844 ft) and Mount Jefferson (10,495 ft).- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • The Three Sisters from Eileen Lake.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Small lake and camp near Eileen Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Camp near Eileen Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Morning sunrise on small lake near Eileen Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax).- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Three Sisters from Eileen Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • View of The Husband (7,524 ft) from Eileen Lake.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Hiking along the trail near Linton Meadows with a view of South Sister.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • South Sister (10,358 ft) from Husband Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • View of South Sister (10,358 ft) from the Pacific Crest Trail.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • South Sister (10,358 ft) from unnamed lake at the intersection of the PCT and Separation Creek.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • View back west to The Husband (7,524 ft) from the trail along Separation Creek.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Chambers Lakes, Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Chambers Lakes, Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Panoramic view of South Sister (10,358 ft) and Chambers Lakes looking west.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Chambers Lakes, Three Sisters Wilderness.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Subalpine meadow at the intersection of the PCT and Separation Creek.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Camp at the intersection of the PCT and Separation Creek.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • Moon rising over camp at the intersection of the PCT and Separation Creek.- Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
  • - Three Sisters Wilderness Westside Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Subalpine landscape. Far less crowded than the southeastern side of Three Sisters.
Cons: 
Special limited entry area permit required.
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Region:
Central Oregon, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,420.00 ft (737.62 m)
Parking Pass: 
Obsidian Limited Entry Area Permit
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
26.50 mi (42.65 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,780.00 ft (1,456.94 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

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.

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