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Broken Top is located just south of the Three Sisters Peaks in the Three Sisters Wilderness near Bend, OR.  A circumnavigation of the 9,177 top of an eroded volcano is a great way to get extended views of Broken Top, along with Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters.  On clear days, most of the mountains in Oregon can be seen off in the distance.  The snow melts later on this loop then the rest of the volcano circumnavigations, so best to run this late July to September.

 

Broken Top reflection on No Name Lake

 

Running around Broken Top is about 23 miles and 4000′ in ascent.  Start at Three Creeks and head up (left) on Tam McArthur Rim Trail #4078 to go clockwise.  Climb 1850′ for 5 miles on Tam McArthur Rim.  Enjoy a view of Little Three Creek Lake and Three Creek Lake from the rim along the way.

 

Tam McArthur Rim

 

The Broken Top Loop is 23 miles with 4000′ of ascent

 

Continue on the climb around Broken Hand to the 8356′ summit of the loop.  You have two options to get around Broken Hand, a shorter but narrow off-camber scree trail along the slope or a longer route around the back either will bring you to the front of the Three Sisters start to emerge over Broken Top. You will scramble over rocks with a loosely defined trail before the descend down to No Name Lake.  Normally this is the first water source on the loop, but 19 elk died in an avalanche above the lake in 2018.  The elk are still decomposing and have tainted the water quality of the lake and the creeks around it.  There are plenty of creeks to drink from a couple of miles after the descent to the south to Broken Top Trail #10.

 

The Broken Top Trail is the most runnable section of the loop

 

Turn right on Broken Top Trail past Little Crater and Crater Creek for 4.25 miles the Green Lakes Trail.  This is the most runnable section with a slight descent, lightly sanded trails, and plenty of streams to cool off in.

 

Turn right on Green Lakes Trail to head North on the loop.  The trail starts to slightly ascend around the lakes to the base of the South Sister.  There is a spur trail to the summit Broken Top for those that want to add an extra mile of ascent. Another spur trail leads to Golden Lake.

 

Wildflowers and burnt forest along the Park Meadows Trail

 

Go three miles to the East Fork Park Creek and the Park Meadows #4075 trail junction. Turn right on Park Meadows through a burnt forest.  Several downed trees on this hot and dry climb can be difficult to navigate in this section, especially with tired legs.  Turn right again and head south on the Park Meadow Tie Trail #4102 for three miles.  Look for a trail junction of Little Three Creek Lake Trail #4076.  This can be confusing because the route continues on this trail, do not turn right on Little Three Creek Lake Trail or left on Three Creek Meadow Trail.  Go straight for 3/4 miles to the parking lot and the finish.