Dillon Lake: One Night Backpacking in the Three Sisters Wilderness
|Morning Sun On Dillon Lake|
Noticing that Forest Road ( FR) 1993 was the only one to the Pat Saddle Trailhead, I gave the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station a call. The guy on the phone said that the only way in was from the Cougar Reservoir side and that it was probably still blocked by snow. Slightly disappointed, but not ready to give up my girlfriend and I set out to see if it was still blocked.
|Trailhead along FR 1993|
|Shortly after the trailhead you enter Three Sisters Wilderness|
|The sun trying to break through|
|One of the few snow patches left|
|An area map|
|One of the many stream crossings|
|Portion of the Water Holes Trail|
|The Water Holes Trail nearly disappears in a meadow|
Some skill is needed to follow the Water Holes Trail, I always try to spot cut logs and follow the trail directly through, not around streams or standing water. Sometimes it's not the easiest thing, but I rarely completely lose a trail. Definitely figure out what works for you and always have a map/compass and or a GPS.
|Wildflowers along The Water Holes trail|
|Drying our favorite hiking 'shoes'|
|The BioLite in action|
|The view from camp|
Directions from Blue River: Follow Highway 126 east 4 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Forest Drive). Turn left across dam. Follow FR 1993 for 14 miles, Pat Saddle trailhead is on the right.
Hike Distance: 10.1 miles one way
Hike Type: Out and Back
Elevation Gain/ Loss: Appox. 1000 Feet
Highest Point: 5000 Feet Near Olallie Mountain cut off
Usage: Light, didn't see anyone
Difficulty: 3 out of 5, because of potential route finding issues on trail 3538
Hike Time: 5 hours one way