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Tam McArthur Rim Trailhead & Three Creek Lake

Photo courtesy of Megan Egli

Few destinations showcase a number of iconic Central Oregon views like Tam McArthur Rim Trailhead & Three Creek Lake—where a hike (of up to 12 miles round-trip) reveals many of the region’s most popular peaks, lakes, and sites.

The most popular hike is a 5.5-mile (round-trip) trek that gains about 1,200 feet along the way. Highlights are numerous but include views of the surrounding Cascade peaks (including Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, and Broken Top), crystal-clear alpine ponds (including Three Creek Lake—which comes into view just beyond the trailhead), and the Bend Glacier Viewpoint.

Those wishing to extend their hike to a full 12 miles (round-trip) can ascend to the base of Broken Top and the shores of No Name Lake—where ice remains on the turquoise waters well into August. However far you hike, keep in mind that snow may linger on the trail into late July or even early August.

Highlights aren’t confined to viewpoints or summits, either. This trail enters the pristine Three Sisters Wilderness soon after departing from the trailhead, giving hikers an up-close look at a well-preserved forest managed to protect the plants and wildlife that call the forest home. For this reason, you’ll need a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit before hitting the trail between June 15 and October 15.

Open Season

Late July-Oct.

Dog Friendly and/or Leash Rules

Leashed dogs are permitted—but can go off-leash while swimming in a lake.

Best time to visit

Aug.-early Oct.

Don’t Miss

Aim for an August hike to see some of the latest-blooming wildflower displays anywhere in Oregon.

Fees or Pass Needed

A Central Cascades Wilderness Permit is required June 15-Oct. 15.


Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.





Parking is available at the trailhead—but try to arrive by 9 a.m. to secure a spot on weekends.


From Bend, the drive to the Tam McArthur Rim Trailhead takes about 90 minutes via Skyliners Road, Bearwallow Road, and Forest Roads 4601, 370, and 16.

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