Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)
Trail type
4.60 mi (7.40 km)
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Moraine Lake sits nearly half way up the South Sister and is a perfect goal for a day hike into the Three Sisters Wilderness.  The lake lies at the base of the Lewis Glacier moraine. Like many alpine lakes, Moraine Lake stays frozen for several months a year.  The trail to the lake can also be packed with snow as late as August, especially in the areas shaded by mountain hemlock.

At 1.5 miles you'll reach an intersection that is an ideal break spot.  Turn right to head toward Moraine Lake or continue straight to climb an additional 200 feet for the view above the lake.  From this vantage point you will have an impressive view of Moraine Lake and Broken Top to the east, the entire Cascade Lakes region, and views as far south as Diamond Peak and Mount Thielsen.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Vistas of Three Sisters Wilderness. Backcountry campsites.


Heavily used area.

Trailhead Elevation

5,480.00 ft (1,670.30 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Old-growth forest



A very picturesque lake in the middle of these Wickiup Plains.
I've hiked up to this lake twice in the month of July and was snowed on both times. I also did this hike about 15yrs ago in August with perfect weather and the views are breathtaking.
Hiked this area over a couple of days. While I've visited before when it was crowded, I've been spared when I've gone during the week, even in the middle of summer.
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