Beautiful but VERY challenging hike from Green Lakes trailhead to South Sister summit and back.
The 1st 2.4 mi.s are up a gentle incline through semi-heavy forest following along the beautiful Fall Creek passing by 6 or 7 nice little water falls. At 2.4 mi.s you will encounter an intersection. Go striaght to Green Lakes or turn left to Moraine Lake and on to South Sister summit.
Just past Moraine Lake at around 7200' ft. the trail begins to steepen and doesn't let up until you reach the summit. The scree isn't as bad as I expected but does add a degree of difficulty to the last 1500 ft. of the climb.
The end of the trail deposits you on the South edge of the crater rim @ around 10,200. The true summit is on the opposite side of the rim and requires another .5 mi. hiking to reach. Hike around to the true summit (10,400) if you want the best views of Middle Sister, N. Sister, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood.
In some ways the hike down from the summit to around 7600 ft. is more difficult than the push up. The trail is very steep in sections with loose scree and rocks underfoot. I slipped and fell at least 10 times. I recommend you wear some sturdy gloves for this section of the trail to keep from tearing up your hands when you use them to catch your self each time you slip.
Total distance covered was around 16 mi.s and proved to be very difficult on a hot August day. It is very difficult to carry enough water on a hike of this length.
I completed this hike in 11 hr.s.
You should stop and eat something at Moraine Lake. I had planned to eat my Subway sandwich on the summit but discovered that the altitude above 8500 ft. made my stomach a little queasy and killed my appetite.
Mosquitoes weren't out in force as they usually are this time of the year. You should bring a good supply of repellant though just in case.
Happy hiking - Be Safe