|Our picnic spot - Green Lake with South Sister|
|I still get excited every time I see a Wilderness sign. It's like my whole body starts to relax and the stress melts away.|
|bulging backpack and cute footbridge across Fall Creek|
A Northwest Forest Park Pass is required to park in the official lot, but not the overflow parking. There are outhouses at the trailhead, but not potable water anywhere on the trail so bring a lot of water or bring a filtration system in your pack. It gets hot on the trail.
|Selfie starting out|
|Curt taking a picture of one of the many waterfalls that Falls Creek treated us to.|
Eventually the trail cut back into the woods, climbed for a while and then leveled out along Falls Creek again. A massive lava flow makes a canyon wall on the other side of the creek, with South Sister peeking out the closer we got to Green Lakes.
|Falls Creek, South Sister, and the obsidian lava flow|
|I'm always surprised at how dry and barren mountains are the higher you climb. And look how little snow South Sister has on it!|
|Broken Top in the back|
|Selfie with South Sister|
|Selfie with Broken Top|
|Both sides of our picnic spot|
After lunch we headed back to our car via the Broken Top Trail instead of going back the way we came. It added four miles to our hike, but was well worth it. We got to see the other side of Green Lake and get up close and personal with Broken Top mountain. This trail was part of the 23 mile backpack loop we had originally planned to do. It whet our appetite to do the whole loop next summer.
|views as we set out on the Broken Top Trail portion of our hike|
|Mt. Bachelor and Sparks Lakes in the backdrop|
|sparse meadow on Soda Creek Trail with South Sister|
|Mt. Bachelor, Sparks Lakes, and layers of mountains.|
|This was the last good view on the Soda Creek trail before we descended into thick forest.|
|Only a few miles left.|
Overall we clocked just under 13 miles of really fun, moderately easy, super scenic hiking. We will definitely be taking our kids back to do the Green Lakes portion of this hike.