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M Three Sisters Backpacking

by Jerry Adams

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Article Summary:

From 2003 through 2007, I hiked around Mount Hood each summer, which is a great hike that I recommend. However, in 2008 there was a large washout in Eliot Canyon which made this hike more difficult, so I looked for another similarly challenging hike with great alpine scenery. Mount Adams has a very difficult segment with no trail, steep canyons, and large stream crossings. Mount Rainier is too long and too crowded. There's no trail on the east side of Mount Jefferson. That left me with the Three Sisters, a forty-two-mile loop.

I'd hiked up the South Sister and spent a little time on the north and east sides of the Three Sisters. There are no steep canyons with difficult stream crossings, like on other Cascade peaks. Before starting my hike, I checked out McKenzie Pass and the Dee Wright Observatory. There are some amazing lava fields in all directions, with great views of the Cascades all around. Dee Wright is a stone structure built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. There's a short paved path to the top and pointers to visible peaks.


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