These trails that are perfect for a late summer or early fall hike with views, wildflowers and refreshing lakes and waterfalls.
In the Three Sisters Wilderness, Pole Creek is less popular than Green Lakes for hiking, but you will probably still run into other hikers on the trail. The Pole Creek Trail leads to Camp Lake, an alpine like tucked between South Sister and Middle Sister Mountains. This hike is best done as a two-day backpacking trail, as Camp Lake is about 13 miles from the Pole Creek trailhead. The trail is rated as difficult, but has stunning views along the way.
Canyon Creek Wilderness
The Canyon Creek Meadows hike in the wilderness area below Three Fingered Jack is an easy four-and-a-half-mile loop for families with kids, and is known for its colorful array of wildflowers. The hike is only open in late summer through October, so get there before it closes for the season.
Off Cascade Lakes Highway, Doris Lake, about six miles from the Six Lakes Trailhead, is moderate hike since there isn’t much elevation gain, but the out-and-back trail will still cover about a dozen miles for one day. The trail is popular with backpackers, who will hike in and pitch a tent next to the lake for the night.
Tam McArthur Rim
In the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Tam McArthur Rim is about five miles round-trip, but has plenty of elevation to make it a climb. At the rocky peak, you’ll find expansive views. A portion of the hike is bare of trees, so bring lots of water. Back at the bottom, a small shack sells ice cream. Enjoy a refreshing treat while you soak your feet in Three Creek Lake.
Teddy Lakes Trail
The Teddy Lakes Trail, about four miles from the Winopee Lake Trailhead, is a lesser-known trek in the Three Sisters Wilderness. Access the trail from the popular Cultus Lake Campground adjacent to the Cultus Lake Resort. You’ll soon escape the throngs of tourists jet skis and power boats. You can continue along the loop for a longer hike. Teddy Lakes is also a good spot for backpackers who overnight in the area.
Paulina Creek Falls
Just north of La Pine near Wickiup Junction is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Here you will find Paulina Creek Falls, one of the least trafficked waterfalls in Central Oregon. The five-mile out and back trail doesn’t offer much in the way of elevation gain. Paulina Falls is about eighty-feet tall, and is a refreshing place to dip your feet on a hot day. Up the trail a little further, you can hike to Paulina Lake. Along the Paulina Lake Loop Trail, you can find a natural hot springs—the ultimate reward after a hike.