One of the great things about moving to Bend is that I don’t feel like I have to cram all the things on my To-Do list into a short period of time. There are so many places to explore, and I know now that I’ll get to them in time and not have to cram them into a week long vacation visit. That said, there is one hike that was at the very top of my To-Do list and I did not intend to let this summer go by without doing it. This hike is to an unnamed lake in the crater to the east of Broken Top Mountain, one of the most recognizable peaks towering over Bend.
This unnamed lake is frequently and appropriately referred to as “No Name Lake” in guidebooks and other internet posts, so I’ll use it here. The lake is filled with glacial runoff that still contains snow fields late into summer. The glacial runoff also contributes to its otherworldly turquoise color. Some brave souls in our group got in the water for a very brief moment, but don’t expect to lounge around on floaties in this icy lake!
I went up with a group on Saturday and we carpooled from the Todd Lake Trailhead. The biggest challenge of this hike is getting to the Broken Top trailhead. From Cascade Lakes highway to Todd Lake, the road is gravel but fairly well maintained. However, the remaining ~five mile drive in is rough and unmaintained, requiring a high clearance vehicle. The road is blocked with snow until late in the summer, and even then, an unknown number of downed trees will likely be waiting for some kind soul to come along and clear them out.
Despite the rough road, we found a full trailhead and had to park at a lower turnout. Most people in Bend have vehicles capable of the drive!
From this trailhead the hike to No Name Lake is pretty easy. It’s approximately 2.25 miles and 1200 ft of gain. Past the lake, hike an additional 0.4 miles and 200 ft of gain to a ridge for an incredible view from the Three Sisters all the way up to Mt Hood and Mt Adams to the north.
In and Out dayhike on trail.
5.3 miles round trip from the closest trailhead. Longer from alternate trailheads.
+/- 1400 ft
Trailhead and Permit Notes:
You should fill out a trailhead permit (free) whenever entering Three Sisters wilderness, required for both day hiking and backpacking. A Northwest Forest Pass or Interagency Pass is required to park. The road to the Broken Top Crater trailhead is rough and impassible to many vehicles. We carpooled in high clearance 4WD vehicles from Todd Lake. This is a very popular trail and will be busy on summer days, so an early start is recommended.