Destinations Hiking Oregon Outdoors

South Sister

When Alex and I went to Atlas for some delicious ciders, we had just finished our hike at Smith Rock. The bartender overheard us talking about it and asked, “have you been to South Sister yet?” That was all it took, challenge accepted. Immediately, we pulled out our phones to look at the size of the mountain. After checking out the altitude, different terrains, and clear views from the top we were sold.

The next morning we packed up, and up we went! We didn’t know this was Oregon’s third highest mountain, and it would have been a good idea to train more since we came from California sea level and were about to attempt reaching a 10,000 ft. summit. The whole trail added up to 12.5 miles round trip, but starting from the parking lot across the street adds an extra mile to the hike. If you’re planning on attempting this, bring LOTS of water, high calorie energy snacks, salty foods, wear good shoes, and apply that sunscreen like there’s no tomorrow. Hiking poles (I wish we’d thought of it beforehand) will make you way more comfortable and confident, especially on the steep downhill on the way back. You can pick some up at your nearest sporting goods store, or even at Walmart for $20. It’s worth it, I promise. Just ask my sad, squished, toes.

South Sister looks deceivingly less threatening from the road. The first few miles were nice and smooth, being shaded by trees with rolling inclines. Eventually, we started feeling the elevation, and the views were beautiful.

Reaching the glacial lake was beautiful, I didn’t know water could be that shade of turquoise. When Alex and I took a break before that last stretch, we smiled and said “we’re almost there! It won’t take long at all.” Hahaha… HAHAHAHAHA. Be warned, the last mile and a half are the hardest. We practically were hiking uphill in sand and loose rocks. Burn baby burn.

After catching our breath for a while, we did a victory dance at the top. I was in complete awe, not expecting to see ice and snow coating the top. It felt like we were walking on the moon.

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Beautiful mountains, fresh air, my best friend, my heart is full.

Never stop exploring,

Camille

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