South Sister Volcano

Photo of South Sister Volcano
Photo uploaded by Maria and Ben

South Sister is the youngest and highest of a trio of closely grouped mountains called the Three Sisters. It is a very young volcano, and is characterized by a well-preserved summit cone with a circular crater at the top. In late summer of most years there is enough snowmelt in the crater to form a small lake, the highest body of water in the state of Oregon.

Elevation (feet): 10,358
Elevation (meters): 3,157
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Cascade Range
State: Oregon
Latitude: 44.103519
Longitude: -121.769285
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1883
First successful climber(s): Adolph Dekum and party
Nearest major airport: Redmond, Portland
Convenient Center: Bend, Oregon

Thanks to David Stockton for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

There are 43 trip reports for South Sister Volcano.

  • Log #20827 - by Harold Ottosen on June 17, 20073.00 stars
    Further to my entry of April 28/00 saying that I tried and failed to summit South Sister I have since done it 3 times, once each in August 2002, 2003 and 2006. It can be a very addicting experience,...
  • Log #8931 - by Jim Retemeyer on Aug 09, 20043.00 stars
    Finally after four attempts to even get to the starting point because of fires and thunder storms, we were greeted with a perfect, cloudless day. Started at 6:19a and arrived at 10:27a. We could see...
  • Log #8932 - by Dean Winebarger on June 18, 20043.00 stars
    What a great Hike!! Lots of good photography opps. Can't wait to do it again!!
  • Log #8933 - by Melody (Kraines) Drushella on May 11, 20043.00 stars
    Absolutely breathtaking!! Easy day hike in from Devels Lake in late summer, and well worth the effort!
  • Log #8934 - by David Stockton on Aug 24, 20033.00 stars
    Back again for climb #11 after almost five years away. First time I was able to see Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens from the top of South Sister.
  • Log #8935 - by Colin Roberts on Nov 09, 20023.00 stars
    Watch out for holiday weekends it gets really crowded. Another suggestion is to do it in a day if you are in good enough shape. Moraine lake has a ton of people there almost all summer.
  • Log #8936 - by Mark Feher on Sep 23, 20023.00 stars
    Hiked to the summit accompanied by me wife Rebecca via the Devil's Lake route. The weather was perfect and the views were incredible! It was a great experience and a definite highlight to a wonderful...
  • Log #8937 - by PAUL DE AVILA on June 26, 20023.00 stars
    I got to climb the mountain a lot in the summer of 2001 but this year i have not gone up yet i have taken about 300 pictures from the different days ive gone the picture turn out great but not as...
  • Log #8938 - by Jamie Robinson on Sep 15, 20013.00 stars
    It was such an awesome experience! It was the first mountain I've ever climbed. I camped at Green Lakes with a somewhat large group of people, and then summited the South Sister the next day. It was...
  • Log #8939 - by Greg Kubin on Aug 28, 20013.00 stars
    It was a fun and memorable day as 3 of us marched to the top under sunny skies. We were fortunate that a strong rain storm a couple of days earlier had scoured out the wildfire smoke, and the views...
  • Log #8940 - by Tim Wigley on Aug 20, 20013.00 stars
    This was one of the most enjoyable climbs I've had in my short climbing career. The views were well as the character of the mountain. Lots of neat views into glaciers, crevasses, etc.
  • Log #8941 - by Mark O' Callaghan on Aug 06, 20013.00 stars
    Fantastic! 7.5 hours round trip, great views & weather.
  • Log #8942 - by Jim Sifferle on Aug 06, 20013.00 stars
    Camped at Green Lakes between Broken Top & South Sister. Much better scenery than Moraine Lake -Devils Lake area. Trail up from Green Lakes is a bit more challenging than the Devil's Lake trail....
  • Log #8943 - by E. Jacobson on July 30, 20013.00 stars
    This was a long and, at times, very tough hike on a beautiful day. Total time was 4 hours up and 3 hours down in a group of four with moderate hiking experience. I was beat at the end of the day, but...
  • Log #8944 - by Robert Guyan on July 10, 20013.00 stars
    Beautiful clear weather, not too warm. Hiked from Devil's Lake - about 4 hours to summit. Almost 4 hrs return. Windy on top, but even more wind on the final scree slope.
  • Log #8945 - by Tino Villanueva on July 05, 20013.00 stars
    Just a long hike up to beautiful views. It's my first "mountain climb" in Oregon and Mt. Hood is next on my list.
  • Log #8946 - by Thomas Duffy on July 03, 20013.00 stars
    It was a beautiful day for climbing it took just under 4 hrs from Moraine Lake to summit and another 2 hrs to get back to camp. It was a little windy and cold at the top, but a great view.
  • Log #8947 - by David & Karen on July 02, 20013.00 stars
    There wasn?t much snow on the route and the ice axes we brought were never needed. After about two hours of trudging up steep rock you reach the Lewis Glacier and the lovely little pond at its base....
  • Log #8948 - by Jon Morgan on May 22, 20013.00 stars
    It was a looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg walk! I still feel a little proud of myself.
  • Log #8949 - by Michael A. Murray on May 09, 20013.00 stars
    One of the gems of the Oregon Cascades, this was a memoralble outing for the friendship and the time we had.
  • Log #8950 - by Harold Ottosen on Apr 28, 20013.00 stars
    Attempted to summit on September 9, 2000. Failed miserably. Didn't make it past 9,000 feet. Poorly trained, went too fast.
  • Log #8951 - by Jonathan Reeve on Mar 25, 20013.00 stars
    I seem to be the first log entry for a winter climb. Never been there in the summer but for those considering a winter climb note that base camp is a 8.5 mile snowshoe from the Bachelor parking lot,...
  • Log #8952 - by Cheryl Lynn Bergamo on Mar 24, 20013.00 stars
    Make sure that you go when the weather is good. It is a beautiful and wonderful area. You will love the view. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to the top and back down again before...
  • Log #8953 - by Harold G Moore on Mar 24, 20013.00 stars
    It was a beautiful climb. It was great to see a gentleman helping his elderly mom summit South Sister. It was a nice clear day but was hard to see at the top. It was well worth all the work getting...
  • Log #8954 - by Neil J. Rumney on Feb 05, 20013.00 stars
    Be prepared for every eventuality.... even if it includes a few more pounds of gear. A great trip with an excellent panoramic view !!
  • Log #8955 - by Dwayne Klimenko on Nov 12, 20003.00 stars
    Don't carry a big, heavy pack if you don't need it!
  • Log #8956 - by David Stockton on Nov 11, 20003.00 stars
    Thanks for adding those great photos to this web page! They look great. I did not summit South Sister in 2000, with 10 ascents of this one under my belt, didn't feel like I needed to prove anything,...
  • Log #8957 - by Robert Black on Sep 20, 20003.00 stars
    Left Devils Lake trailhead at 700AM on Saturday morning. Reached summit at 1045AM. Spent 45 minutes on top taking in the views...very nice.
  • Log #8958 - by Stan Gerig on Sep 17, 20003.00 stars
    Had an awesome day with 9 friends, doing the round trip from Devil's Lake to the summit and back in a little over 9 hours. Spectacular scenery, in spite of clouds that enveloped the summit when we...
  • Log #8959 - by Mark Anthony Ilagan on Sep 10, 20003.00 stars
    Here I am, the morning after my latest adventure. My soar toes from the downhill return is a small price to pay for the awesome view at the top. I lost my camera in a green case on the way up. Please...
  • Log #8960 - by Alexander S. Koczur on Aug 24, 20003.00 stars
    Started our hike from Devil's Lake at 06:00am. Made the summit of South Sister about 1:30pm. Back to Devil's Lake at 5:50pm. Toughest 12 hours I've spent in a very long time.
  • Log #8961 - by Gary W. Castleman on Aug 24, 20003.00 stars
    We marched from Devils Lake to the summit and back in a little under 12 hours. The wind, altitude, and poor quality of the rock made for an experience not unlike like running up a sand dune with a...
  • Log #8962 - by Philip Yoder on June 16, 20003.00 stars
    We had a beautiful sunny day for a climb. That same sun scorched my face despite sunscreen. Re-apply often!!!
  • Log #8963 - by Eric DeVroeg on June 15, 20003.00 stars
    This is a nice climb with a terrific view, but if you prefer a bit more of a remote wilderness experience, try Middle Sister.
  • Log #8965 - by Dan Fry on Nov 05, 19993.00 stars
    As I am from the flat lands of Pennsylvania this was the first "real" mountain I have ever been on. My friend Ed and I camped at Devil's lake and did a 12 hour ascent and ski descent the...
  • Log #8966 - by Tadashi Anno on July 08, 19993.00 stars
    The round trip from South Sister Climbers' Trailhead (Devil Lake) took me 9 hours and 25 minutes. If the south slope of the mountain is covered by snow (as it was when I climbed), an ice axe comes in...
  • Log #8967 - by David Stockton on Oct 14, 20023.00 stars
    Just to add a couple more pieces of information to what I have already entered on this mountain: ABSOLUTELY DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS CLIMB IN BAD WEATHER. It's dangerous, and you won't see anything...
  • Log #8968 - by David Stockton on Oct 15, 20023.00 stars
    Everybody talks about Mount Bachelor being the showpiece of Central Oregon because it's so well known for its skiing, but for me, the real mountain experience is on South Sister, the highest mountain...
  • Log #20698 - by johanna Nakayama on Mar 21, 20073.00 stars
    Great views of all the Cascade volcanoes. A Day well spend.
  • Log #20883 - by Ryan Tiktin, Burr Richards & Samantha Gisler on July 17, 20073.00 stars
    Made a two day trip by hiking in from Green Lakes and camping at Moraine for the night. Feasted on Mountain House and drank until our hearts content. Then up with the sun, and off to the hill. First...
  • Log #21438 - by Scott Robbins on Sep 12, 20083.00 stars
    Tough climb, loose rock most of the way. The views from the summit were worth the work it took to get up and the way down is just as hard.
  • Log #21437 - by Brad Robbins on Sep 12, 20083.00 stars
    The climb started out with 1.5 miles in the forest. It then opened up and we got the view of South Sister, Broken Top, and Bachelor. The route is fairly steep but is pretty straight-forward.
  • Log #22405 - by Johanna Nakayama on Aug 23, 20133.00 stars
    Crowded scramble. Great views