Milli Fire and other fires in Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon

September 1st, 2017

Multiple fires are burning along the PCT in the Three Sisters Wilderness. This is an active fire area – do not enter.

The Pacific Crest Trail closure now begins at the Three Sisters Wilderness boundary at Irish Lake Trailhead (~ mile 1928) and extends to Highway 242 (mile 1981.5). From Irish and Taylor lakes hikers are being encouraged to follow FR 4636 (aka Irish Taylor Rd) east toward Cascade Lakes Highway.

Much of the rest of Three Sisters Wilderness is also closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.


Closure maps

There are THREE closure maps.

How to get around the closure

Northbound PCT hikers should exit the PCT at or before the Three Sisters Wilderness boundary.

This closure, combined with the Whitewater Fire closure on Mt. Jefferson, means that it is hard to hike much of the PCT in Central Oregon.

There are a few ways to handle these closures. Here are some ideas.

A) Get a ride north to Ollalie Lake

If you have someone to drive you to Ollalie Lake, it’s a pretty good option. You’ll skip both the Three Sisters and the Whitewater Fire closures, rejoining the PCT at the northern boundary of the latter. See the Whitewater closure link for more info.


B) Take public transit further north to near Mt. Hood <– perhaps the best option at time of writing

Depending on the day of the week, you can take a series of buses from Bend, Sisters or Redmond, on towards Government Camp near Mt. Hood. It seems like using public transit will require overnighting in Redmond, Oregon.

Try asking the last bus driver to drop you off where the PCT crosses Highway 26. It’s at Wapinitia Pass, 7.2 miles before Government Camp. There is a trailhead parking area there. It’s near Frog Lake. This is mile 2084 on the Pacific Crest Trail.

For public transit information, here’s some information

D) How about going to Eugene and up the west side?

To us, it seems easier to stay on the east side of the Cascades. But if you have some other good idea, go for it!

How about continuous footsteps?

We’ve spent considerable time looking into obscure trails and dirt roads to get you around these closures and have come up short. Especially for the Whitewater Fire, we couldn’t find a good, safe, legal and efficient way to walk around the closure.

Bone Dry Stream Beds

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By: Laurie Meade
June 29th, 2015

Every stream bed I passed from Elk Lake to Cliff Lake #1942 was dry on 6/21/2015. There is water in the larger bodies of water and lakes. Please be mindful and carry enough water to get you past any and all seasonal streams as they may be dry already this early in the season.

Muskrat Fire – Three Sisters Wilderness

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August 8th, 2014

The PCT remains open but the closure area uses the trail as it’s border. The fire is burning east of the PCT.

The Muskrat Fire, ½ mile from Muskrat Lake and 2 miles northwest of Cultus Lake, was reported at approximately 12:45 p.m. on 8/7/14 and quickly grew to 30 acres. The blaze is burning on the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest.

The southern end of the closure is around Irish and Taylor Lakes (labeld Forest Road 600, unpaved on Halfmile’s maps) at PCT mile 1937. The northern end of the closure is around the Top Lake Trail (Tr. No. 3510)  at PCT mile 1946.8. Again, the PCT is not closed.

Closure order: Map_Muskrat_ClosureOrder_06-01-01-14-02_08082014; Muskrat_ClosureOrder_06-01-01-14-02_08082014

Published 8/8/14

Published 8/8/14

More information

McKenzie Pass to Elk Lake 7/30 – 8/1

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By: cb97123
August 5th, 2014

Good trail conditions and plenty of water. Lots of lava and a few snow banks still near North Sister. A few blow-down logs across the trail that are easy to step over. The log locations are near Glacier Way Trail, Foley Ridge Trail, and Mesa Creek.

Willamette Pass to Elk Lake

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By: CB97123
September 3rd, 2013

From Willamette Pass to Charlton Lake the trail is in perfect condition, but no on-trail water after Rosary Lakes. Bobby Lake is worth the side trip for water, and it’s beauty. Charlton Lake to Elk Lake has a few logs across the trail, especially north of Stormy Lake and near Island Meadow, but nothing too bad. Bugs were not a problem, despite the many lakes and ponds, and we even had freshly caught trout for breakfast one day!

July 26, 2012

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Hwy 58 trail north is clear of blow downs and snow to 5mi north of the Irish/Tayor lakes area where there are two dangerous fallen trees on a steep side hill which are hazardous to stock.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton