Sunday, July 9, 2017

Exploring Oregon: South Sister & Lava Lake

South Sister, 10,358 ft tall. 3rd tallest mountain in Oregon.

Date Camped: July 1, 2017
Campground: Lava Lake Campground
Hiked: near South Sister to Morraine Lake
Miles hiked: 4.3 miles
Distance from Seattle to South Sister: 356 miles, roughly 7 hours one way

South Sister has been high on my list of "To Visits", and I got it in my head months prior that I wanted to head down that way around July 4th. So I booked a campsite... Well things didn't go as planned, I decided to work Monday and not take the day off to have an actual 4 day weekend, so this trip felt a little rushed, since we only had 2 days.

After working a full day Friday, Cody and I drove down to Eugene with the pup from Seattle and stayed in the sketchiest motel! But this motel was pet friendly and waved the pet fee.... I still don't think I'd stay there again though lol. The room stank of cigarette smoke, the bed felt like cardboard with extremely flat pillows, and the place just felt dirty. Not even worth the $60.... (So be warned, DO NOT stay at Crossland Economy Studios in Eugene, OR)
Sketchiest motel everrr
The next morning, we got a slow start due to getting into Eugene past midnight, we grabbed breakfast at a local diner, The Pump CafĂ©, and hit the road for South Sister around 10 am. Which was another 2 hour drive. We decided to hike first before checking into our campground.
Yelp find! Delicious breakfast!
South Sister hike starts at Devil's Lake. There is a parking lot, but the trail is kind of weird, in that, once you park at the lot, you take the trail a couple hundred yards, then have to cross the road to continue onto South Sister. So technically you can park on the road to skip the first section. A parking pass is needed, we were able to use the national parks parking pass because we were in national forest territory. We were warned by volunteers that the trail is still extremely snowy. We were prepared with microspikes, so we weren't too worried. Within less than a mile we hit snow on the trail. Apparently it's perfect timing for backcountry skiing on South Sister right now. We saw sooo many people skinning up and skiers coming down! Because of how much snow there still is, we only hiked part way up, took some pictures, and turned back around. We saw only 2 hikers who actually summited who were not on skis. I definitely want to come back and summit South Sister in August or September.

After our hike, we headed to our campground which was 10 miles or so away. We checked in with the camp host, bought a bundle of wood and headed over to setup camp. We hung out by the lake for a little bit, made hot dogs for dinner & s'mores, and just had a relaxing night. The following morning we packed up for our long drive home. Overall, it was another great weekend spent in the great outdoors!

Until next time, South Sister!
 We hit snow within the first mile of the South Sister trail
South Sister, you are beautiful!
Home for the night
 South Sister in the distance at Lava Lake
 Lava Lake with Mt Batchelor in the distance
Good morning South Sister and Lava Lake!

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