Pets allowed
Trail type
4.60 mi (7.40 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.

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)

Net Elevation Gain

1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Old-growth forest



I was surprised (pleasantly) to see so much snow at the lake after the amount of hot weather we had been having. The snow made the trail especially difficult to follow but it was navigable.
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