A Magical Day on the Tam McArthur Rim

Black Butte Ranch

On Labor Day weekend in the mid-aughts, we visited friends at their Black Butte Ranch home. It was a beautiful weekend in Central Oregon with clear blue skies and temperatures into the 80s. But, to our chagrin, lighting had caused a fire only two miles west of the Ranch. In fact, after we left on Monday, the Ranch was evacuated in the afternoon due to the proximity of the fire. 

My Favorite Model with Broken Top and the Three Sisters in the background

Three Creek Lake

On Sunday morning we drove south of the town of Sisters to a trailhead near Three Creek Lake. This is a pretty spot below rimrock cliffs which extend west to Broken Hand and Broken Top Mountains. There are points on the cliffs more than 1,000 feet above the Lake. (I took some photos while standing on one several hours later.)

Three Creek Lake

Tam McArthur Rim

The Trail quickly gained 500 feet of elevation. After the next two miles the Trail meandered through cinder and lava fields with nice views to the south of Mt. Bachelor. At the 3 1/2-mile mark the Trail returned to the Tam McArthur Rim, providing unmatched views of Broken Top, South Sisters, Middle Sisters, North Sisters, (or better known as Faith, Hope and Charity) and Mt. Washington. We would have seen Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood if the smoke from the forest fire had not obstructed the views to the north.

We enjoyed a nice lunch out of the wind at close to 8,000 feet, saturating ourselves with the crystal clear views of the old volcanoes to the west.  After a while we reluctantly turned around and hiked back to the Trailhead. All together the hike was nine miles in length with 1,600 feet of elevation gain.

Your Humble Scribe on the Trail

Lots of folks enjoying the wilderness

Lots of volcanic ash and rock

My Favorite Model

South Sister


The Three Sisters

My Favorite Model

A long look down to Three Creek Lake from Tam McArthur Rim


The wildfire

Sun shining through the wildfire

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

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