Broken Top Volcano, Bend Oregon

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Broken Top


One of Central Oregon’s most rugged peaks, Broken Top Mountain is located about 20 miles west of Bend and is a popular destination for hikers and mountain climbers.

  • A volcano with a distinctive rugged peak of 9,175 feet.
  • Located in the beautiful Three Sisters Wilderness Area just 20 miles west of Bend.
  • A popular destination for avid mountain climbers and hikers.
  • Indian paintbrush, monkey flower, and other colorful wildflowers are in bloom early in the summer.

Overview

With its distinctively rugged and “broken” peak, Broken Top is one of the most picturesque mountains in Central Oregon. Located within the vast Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Broken Top Mountain is an extinct stratovolcano that has been significantly eroded by glaciers over time. It is a popular destination for mountain climbers and hikers. In the winter, the mountain’s fascinating crater can be accessed via snowshoe.

Location and Information

Broken Top Mountain Oregon is located approximately 20 miles west of Bend. Vehicles are not permitted within the Wilderness Area. Trailheads are best accessed via the Cascade Lakes Highway.

  • Contact Information: Deschutes National Forest, 1001 SW Emkay Drive, Bend, OR 97702.  Phone: 541-383-5300.  Visit the website here.  

Activities

  • Snowshoeing – From December through June snowshoeing is a popular activity on Broken top. There is a beautiful 10 mile out and back trek into the mountain’s crater area that provides a close up view of the results of powerful volcanic activity that occurred eons ago.
  • Hiking – Broken Top Trail is a popular hike that boasts spectacular mountain views. The trailhead can be accessed from the Cascade Lakes Highways not far from Mt. Bachelor. Colorful alpine wildflowers are in full bloom early in the summer, including monkeyflower, Indian paintbrush, bog laurel, and arnica.
  • Mountaineering – Avid climbers enjoy summiting this rugged mountain. The most popular route to the summit is via the Northwest Ridge.

Fun Facts

  • Broken Top has probably not erupted for at least 100,000 years per the USGS.
  • With a summit of 9,175 feet, Broken top is 1000 feet lower than the Three Sisters.
  • Broken Top, Middle Sister, and South Sister are composite volcanos with a history of numerous eruptions. According to the USGS, these mountains could erupt again at some point in the future.

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