Crater Lake 9/12/2018
We left Boardman to drive to Sisters, Oregon for another few days of hiking. The webcams at Crater Lake National Park showed the smoke haze had mostly lifted, so we added a side trip to see Crater Lake.
We had been to Crater Lake about 20 years ago, but our visit that summer was early in the season and there was too much snow to do much more than admire the view from the one small area that was accessible. It has been a goal to return and hike down to the lake, take the boat to Wizard Island, and hike to the many viewpoints around the lake. We were foiled again this year by the extremely bad air quality that was present during the time we had planned, but at least we got to see the views on a nearly clear day and admire the absolutely blue water.
Obsidian Trail 9/13/2018
We have stayed in Sisters, Oregon several times, but have yet to explore all of the trails in the area. This was our first time to hike in the Obsidian Area of the Three Sisters Wilderness (#50) (12 miles, 2000 feet).
The first few miles are through forest, including part of the 2017 Milli Fire burn zone.
At about 3.5 miles, the trail ascends over and through a lava flow, with views to the Obsidian Cliff and to North and Middle Sisters – though today the Sisters were hiding in clouds.
The trail continues up through forest, meadows and past interesting rock formations.
Next we reached Obsidian Falls.
Beyond the falls is a high basin with a spring and a pond between a craggy cliff and an Obsidian flow.
Over the dividing ridge is another pond.
We continued around the loop to cloud obscured views of North and Middle Sister, a good view of the Little Brother, and a view down to Glacier Creek.
The trail descends to Sunshine Meadow along White Branch Creek.
We continued down the Glacial Way, back over the lava flow
and back through the burn zone to the trailhead,
which, after twelve miles for the day, I was very glad to see.
Sparse but welcome wildflowers today:
Dee Wright Observatory
We had to drive over Makenzie Pass to return to the town of Sisters at the end of the day, so we stopped for a quick overview: