Max slope angle
30-45 Degrees
Vertical descent
2,441.00 ft (744.02 m)
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Broken Top Traverse is a great way to experience backcountry skiing in the Three Sisters Wilderness. It's best done in the spring (late May through June) when the roads are open to Three Creeks Lake and Cascade Lakes Highway. The Traverse requires a car shuttle, since it's usually done as a one-way trip. 

The traverse can be done from either the Pole Creek Trailhead or Three Creek Lake Campground; this adventure features the route leading from the Three Creek Campground to the Fall Creek Trail (Green Lakes) Trailhead to the south. 

Begin the trip by gaining Tam McArhur Rim and following the rim west and then southwest until it connects with Broken Top. From here, go west of Broken Top and descend the prominent ridge that drops down into Green Lakes. The potential of running water and access to great skiing makes Green Lakes an excellent choice to overnight. Running water isn't a guarantee along the traverse, so be sure to bring plenty of fuel for melting snow.  

There is some amazing skiing to be had along the route. You can quickly cover ground on skis, leaving you with plenty of time to explore the slopes on Broken Top and South Sister.

The trip could be done in a day, but plan on two to three days to truly enjoy the experience. Also, the trip is generally done north to south to maximize the descent.


Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Great views. Solitude. Good spring skiing.



Trailhead Elevation

6,500.00 ft (1,981.20 m)

Typically multi-day


Shuttle required




We went the first snow fall, backpacked out and spent the night at No Name Lake. I have no words at the beauty of this place.

Snow shoes would have been nice in some places but you could get by with snow shoes, first snow fall was a lot. Anything during the winter, SNOW SHOES A MUST! Extremely windy at night, 4 season tent is theist unless you have a 3 season with tent anchors. Sunrise and sunset are flawless

The drive there is rough. Must have a high vehicle and prepare to go SLOW. The hike isn't long from the parking lot.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.