Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon

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Three Sisters Wilderness

One of the most beautiful areas in Central Oregon, located 20 miles west of Bend, is the Three Sisters Wilderness which spans over 286,000 acres of alpine meadows, thick forests, and majestic volcanoes.

  • Explore dense forests, lava flows, volcanoes, alpine meadows, and sparkling lakes and streams.
  • Climb a number of different peaks ranging from 7,000 to 10,358 feet.
  • Located just 20 miles west of Bend via Hwy 242 or Cascade Lakes Highway.
  • Explore over 260 miles of scenic trails.


Designated in 1964 by Congress, the beautiful area of Central Oregon known as the Three Sisters Wilderness Area covers over 286,000 acres. Overlapping both the Deschutes and the Willamette National Forests, visitors to this scenic area will find everything from volcanic peaks, lava fields, sparkling streams and lakes, dense forest, and peaceful alpine meadows teeming with colorful wildflowers during the late spring and summer. A paradise for nature lovers, the Three Sisters Wilderness attracts more visitors each year than any other wilderness area in Oregon.

Location and Information

Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon, is located about 20 miles west of Bend. It can be accessed via Hwy 242 or the Cascade Lakes Highway. Hwy 242 is closed in the winter.

Contact Information

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


  • Hiking and Backpacking – There are over 260 miles of scenic trails that wind throughout the Wilderness, of which 40 are part of the well-known Pacific Crest Trail. The meadows are known for their abundance of wildflowers, including Indian paintbrush, wild sunflower, heather, and bluebells.
  • Mountain Climbing – With each of the Three Sisters reaching over 10,000 feet, as well as several other peaks ranging from 7,000 to 9,175 feet, avid mountaineers have plenty of climbing options. The North Sister is the most difficult to climb.
  • Camping – With its abundance of natural beauty and clear, starry nights, this area is very popular for camping. There are established campsites along the majority of lakes within the Wilderness, as well as many other sites to pitch your tent.

Fun Facts

  • The elevation throughout the Wilderness varies greatly, ranging from 2,000 feet to 10,358 feet.
  • Oregon’s largest glacier – Collier Glacier – can be found between Middle and North Sister.
  • Over the past several thousand years, there has been quite a bit of volcanic activity in this area – more than any other part of the
  • Cascade Range.
    Two other wilderness areas – Waldo Lake and Mount Washington – border the Sisters Wilderness.