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Scott Pass

This lovely little trail that is tucked away in the NE corner of the Three Sisters wilderness. It wanders through thick forests of Lodgepole and Fir and deposits eager hikers on top of Scott Pass where views of all the volcanoes abound.

Perhaps the initial mileage through a dry, and at times beetle-kill infested forest keeps most hikers away… but this hidden gem has quickly become a favorite hike of mine.

The Scott Pass trailhead is located to the East of the Cascade Crest, just South of the 2006 Black Crater Burn area. To get to the trailhead, drive West towards McKenzie Pass from Sisters and take the road signed ‘Scott Pass TH’ (duh).

After about 6 miles of lovely washboarded road… complete with peekaboo views of North Sister, you arrive at the Scott Pass trail head. Grab yourself a wilderness permit and head out for some solitude.

The first mile and a quarter is somewhat uneventful and you quickly arrive at the first trail junction. A seasonal creek and some signage lays out your options. To your right is the path to Millican TH and Lava Camp Lake TH, and to your left is signed ‘Green Lakes’. Hang a left here and venture deeper into the forest.

The trail continues to gently climb higher into the forest as you pass the turn off to Green Lakes. Adventurous hikers may opt to take a quick side trail to the scenic tree-rimmed Yapoah Lake. There is a trail, but if I told you where it was, well, you know.

Before long the trail begins to gently switch back towards Scott Pass. Drab forest views are replaced quickly by meadows of Lupine and expansive alpine views.

Once you reach Scott Pass proper, additional wandering options abound. Head North less than a quarter mile to South Mathieu Lake, or turn to the South and scramble up a small butte to get BIG views of North Sister, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson. Or do both!

After your wanderings are complete, return on the same path from which you came.

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