The Green Ridge Trail near Black Butte is a fantastic option for trail running near Sisters. It is an 18-mile out-and-back trail with slight elevation gain in the first few miles. The trail then follows the ridge above the Metolius River basin.

Trail map at Green Ridge trailhead.

 

The Green Ridge Trail mixes singletrack and doubletrack and may have downed trees, rocks, and roots. It sees lighter use than other trails in the Sisters area, but you might encounter mountain bikers or horseback riders on your run. There are no restrooms or facilities directly on the trail, and there are no water sources, so pack plenty of water. Download the GPS to a phone or watch to ensure the correct route is followed. Otherwise, follow the roads and trails that stay on the ridge.

 

The Three Sisters and Mt. Washington heading south on Green Ridge Trail.

 

The trailhead is hidden in the trees. To get there, take Highway 20 west of Sisters to the Green Ridge and Indian Ford turnoff (about 5.5 miles). Take Forest Road 11 4.3 miles to a sharp right turn. Instead of turning right, take the 1120 road to the left. Follow this bumpy forest road for a half mile. The trailhead will be on the right, and the parking area will be on the left.

 

View of Mt. Jefferson from the lookout tower (USFS)

 

The Green Ridge Trail features dynamic wildflowers and greenery depending on the time of year. On the edge of the ridge is a fire tower lookout, which the Forest Service rents to the public from April 15 to June 30 and from September 15 to November 15. The Forest Service uses the lookout during the mid-summer months to watch for forest fires. This lookout is slightly off the Green Ridge Trail.

 

May sunflowers from the trail.

 

The first 4.5 miles is a gradual 1,200-foot climb on singletrack amongst the manzanitas, Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs. Through the trees are views of Mt. Washington and Belknap Crater. The single-track trail merges left onto a jeep road at the top of the climb. Once on the ridge, enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Jefferson and Three-Fingered Jack.

 

Mt. Jefferson and Metolius River Basin from Green Ridge Trail (Saulius Eidukas)

 

The road turns back into a single-track trail. At mile 8.25, turn left on a jeep road to reach the lookout. Green Ridge Trail will continue to a parking spot on the North side, but most runners return to the original trailhead for an out-and-back. Views of the Three Sisters become apparent when heading south on the trail.

 

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