Green Lakes After a Month of Hazardous Smoke

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Bend Premier Real Estate 200009031

After a month of terrible, hazardous air due to smoke from several forest fires settling in the Bend Oregon area, on Saturday, 9-11-21, Central Oregonians were thrilled to experience clean air as the bad air dissipated and the normal sparkling blue skies of September returned. We had planned on hiking Green Lakes on 9-11 as part of the series of scheduled hikes we had set up in April due to the newly implemented 2021 Wilderness permit system.  However, we were ready to cancel if the air quality was as it had been the Saturday before - extremely hazardous with limited visibility and health recommendations to stay indoors. As we drove up Century Drive towards the Green Lakes trailhead, the remaining smoke in the area was evident until we passed Widgi Creek and all of a sudden, the skies were blue rather than grey and the smell of smoke disappeared. The Green Lakes Trailhead had just a few cars and our 4.5 mile trip up Fall Creek with its numerous waterfalls to Green Lakes was extremely private with us seeing just a handful of people.

Upon reaching Green Lakes, we were amazed at the almost perfect weather conditions for photography with the air still and all 3 lakes mirroring the mountains and early fall foliage around them. We extended our hike past the northern most Green Lake over the saddle between Broken Top and South Sister and on to Golden Lake, extending our hike to between 16 and 17 miles total.  After lunch we returned the via the route we had arrived, thoroughly enjoying the beauty of the Three Sisters Wilderness and the clean air. This is a wonderful hike to a lovely location and is highly recommended.

Green Lakes Green Lakes
Green Lakes Green Lakes
Green Lakes

Green Lakes

Original blog ca ben read at Bend Premier Real Estate's blog page.

Comments (14)

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Those are some beautiful pictures and even a few spectacular pictures.  I love the two that reflect the mountains so perfectly in the lakes.  Now I want to visit the area.  It is good to hear that the air quality has improved.

Sep 14, 2021 12:11 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Hi Raymond Henson, eXp Realty .  It was a perfect day for photos with the air still and not rippling the lakes at all.  It wasn't until later in the day the air movement made the lakes lose their reflection. In photography we talk about the "golden hour" which happens twice a day - dawn and dusk - when the light and air movement provides for great photos.  Last Saturday we had that golden hour way later in the day then we normally do.  It was wonderful.

Sep 14, 2021 12:47 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I always look forward to your adventures and your beautiful pictures of your hikes.  A

Sep 14, 2021 01:23 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The haze from the West coast wildfires has been terrible and dangerous.  You were fortunate to get a clear day and better for us that you shared the photos.

Sep 14, 2021 06:09 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lynnea.

What wonderful photos you provided for us to marvel at today.  I bet it is better to see it in person, but I'll never experience it.

Sep 15, 2021 12:24 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such an incredibly beautiful area and I am so glad that you have clean air there to breathe properly again!

Sep 15, 2021 05:40 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your photographs.

The haze we have experienced in Maryland is from the western fires.

Sep 18, 2021 08:22 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Lynnea, I know we had so much smoke in the Denver area that came from out west but it is getting better day by day here.


Sep 18, 2021 10:16 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Hi Roy Kelley and Will Hamm .  You may be happy to know that today we had rain and the smoke, at least locally, was nonexistant.  But our hike in the rain was miserable!

Sep 18, 2021 08:10 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Beautiful photo's showing off what looks like a wonderful outing.  Mark

Sep 19, 2021 12:18 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Lynne:

What beautiful photos! Such a refreshing change from what you were dealing with for so long. Glad to hear things have improved!


Sep 23, 2021 03:05 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Saturday morning, Lynnea.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding weekend.

Sep 25, 2021 08:33 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Those are some beautiful pictures Lynnea Miller . We have had a lot more smoke here than usual due to all the fires West of us as well as fires in Canada.

Sep 30, 2021 06:57 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lynnea, what stunning photos, and glad your smoke has cleared.   We had some bad air quality days too, but sure not as bad as you.

Oct 02, 2021 11:30 AM