Hiking South Sister: A Comprehensive Guide to Summiting Oregon’s Third Tallest Peak

Hiking South Sister

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Hiking South Sister, the third tallest peak in Oregon, is a challenging but rewarding experience for avid hikers and nature enthusiasts. At 10,358 feet, South Sister boasts incredible views of the surrounding Cascade Range and the beautiful turquoise waters of Moraine Lake. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to hiking South Sister, including essential tips for planning, preparing, and executing a successful summit.

Why Hike South Sister?

  • Majestic views of the Cascade Range
  • A challenging and rewarding hike
  • Opportunity for personal growth and accomplishment
  • Access to Moraine Lake, one of Oregon’s most beautiful alpine lakes

Preparing for the Hike

Before embarking on a hike up South Sister, it is essential to prepare for the trek. Preparation includes planning, conditioning, and packing the necessary gear.


  • Choose the best time of year to hike (typically late June to September)
  • Research the route and trail conditions
  • Obtain necessary permits and passes


  • Start training at least a month in advance
  • Incorporate cardiovascular and strength training exercises
  • Build up endurance by gradually increasing the intensity of workouts


  • Hiking boots with ankle support
  • Clothing suitable for the weather conditions
  • Daypack with food, water, and emergency supplies
  • Trekking poles to aid with balance and reduce the impact on joints
  • Navigation tools (map, compass, GPS)

The Hike

The hike up South Sister can be challenging, but with proper preparation and pacing, it is achievable for most hikers.

Hiking South Sister

Trailhead to Moraine Lake (3.5 miles)

  • Start at the Devil’s Lake Trailhead
  • Follow the Moraine Lake Trail through the forest
  • Reach the beautiful turquoise waters of Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake to the Summit (4.5 miles)

  • Take the climbers’ trail along the ridge
  • Watch out for loose scree and unstable rocks
  • Use trekking poles for balance and support
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Cascade Range
  • Reach the summit of South Sister and take in the panoramic views

Tips for a Successful Summit

To ensure a successful summit of South Sister, hikers should keep the following tips in mind:

Pace Yourself

  • Take breaks as needed
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Monitor your heart rate and breathing

Be Prepared for Changing Weather

  • Bring layers for temperature fluctuations
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and heat exhaustion
  • Pack Properly

    • Bring plenty of food and water
    • Pack emergency supplies, including a first-aid kit, navigation tools, and a flashlight
    • Outline:

      I. Introduction A. What is Hiking South Sister? B. Why should you Hike South Sister?

      II. Preparing for the Hike A. Physical Preparation 1. Fitness Level 2. Training 3. Acclimatization B. Mental Preparation 1. Mindset 2. Expectations 3. Mental Challenges

      III. What to Expect on the Hike A. The Trail 1. Difficulty 2. Length 3. Terrain B. Weather 1. Temperatures 2. Wind 3. Precipitation C. Wildlife 1. Bears 2. Other Animals 3. Insects

      IV. Tips for a Successful Hike A. Equipment 1. Clothing 2. Footwear 3. Backpack B. Food and Water 1. Hydration 2. Nutrition C. Safety 1. Navigation 2. First Aid 3. Emergency Situations

      V. Conclusion A. Summary of the Benefits of Hiking South Sister B. Final Thoughts

      VI. FAQs A. How long does it take to hike South Sister? B. Is it possible to hike South Sister without a guide? C. Are there any campsites along the trail? D. Do I need to obtain a permit before hiking South Sister? E. What is the best time of year to hike South Sister?

    • Hiking South Sister

      If you’re looking for a challenging but rewarding hike, South Sister in Oregon is a great option. Standing at an elevation of 10,358 feet, South Sister is the third-tallest mountain in Oregon and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

      Preparing for the Hike

      Before embarking on a hike up South Sister, it’s important to prepare physically and mentally. Here are some things to keep in mind:

      Physical Preparation


    Hiking South Sister is a challenging but rewarding experience that offers stunning views and an opportunity for personal growth and accomplishment. With proper planning, conditioning, and packing, hikers can successfully summit this beautiful peak and experience the best of the Cascade Range.


    1. How long does it take to hike South Sister?
    • The hike takes an average of 8-10 hours round trip.
    1. Is a permit required to hike South Sister?
    • Yes, a wilderness permit is required for overnight camping.
    1. Are dogs allowed on the trail?
    • Yes, dogs are allowed on the trail, but they must be leashed at all times.
    1. What is the best time of year to hike South Sister?
    • The best time to hike is typically from late June to September.
    1. What is the elevation gain of the hike?
    • The elevation gain is approximately 5,000 feet.

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