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