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Some people said it was too early in the year to hike South Sister, that there was too much snow to make it safely to the top. Well, I have one thing to say to those people: You're wrong!
Early Sunday morning we left Bend and drove to the Devil's Lake Trailhead. From there, it was 6.25 miles to the summit of South Sister (Oregon's 3rd highest peak). Was there snow? Heck yes. There was a lot of snow, but given the choice of snow or the cinder and scree that lies beneath, I would choose snow every time!
The view of Middle and North Sister with a little snow cover really can't be beat! It's a tough hike towards the top (right around Lewis Glacier), but just put one foot in front of the other and keep going - it's worth it!
Lewis Glacier Melt Pot/pool, near the top of South Sister. It's bigger than it looks!
For any hikers out there who want to hike to South Sister's summit in late June or early July: we didn't really need any special gear. Hiking boots and gaiters would be nice, but they're not necessary (we hiked with running shoes, nothing else). We brought crampons just in case, but they weren't needed. The last mile or so is the toughest and steepest, but at that point we were hiking on/fighting with red cinder and scree.