Take A Late-Spring or Summer Journey to Sisters Oregon
Travel to Sisters Oregon, stopping to enjoy the views of Mt. Jefferson on the shores of Detroit Lake, fishing on Suttle Lake or take in the refreshing Metolius River.
Take a trip to Central Oregon, enjoying the sunny, warm and dry weather conditions. Don’t forget your hiking boots or sturdy shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen. It is usually very warm so bring a light jacket for the mornings but a T-shirt or sleeveless shirt will do for the afternoons. In May and June the warm temperatures are more bearable. Wildflowers will also be abundantly blooming during the late spring. Remember to have a few dollars on hand in case you run into a park requiring a Northwest Forest Pass or a Day Use Fee.
Take Highway 22 east from Salem heading towards Detroit Reservoir. If you are pressed for time, head on to Sisters without stopping. Once you arrive in Sisters, enjoy one of the many town events, shopping or site seeing. Enjoy the Sisters Rodeo and Parade in June or the Sisters Quilt Walk in July. The small town is home to many art galleries with fine arts ranging from paintings of wildlife to pottery, jewelry, photography, blown glass, and wood carvings. Many shops line the main street, Cascade Avenue. Stop for a bite to eat at Bronco Billy’s Ranch Grill, home of “Oregon’s Best Burger” or try a ranch-style breakfast at The Gallery.
However, if you’d like to explore and enjoy your journey make sure to check out these spots along the way.
Big Cliff Dam
Enjoy the view from atop Detroit or Big Cliff Dam, located 45 miles east of Salem. The North Santiam River flows from the water let out of Big Cliff Dam. The Army Corps of Engineers completed the dams in 1953. Stop at one of the state parks on the shores of Detroit Lake, which covers an area of 3,500 acres, to fish, boat, or bird watch. View osprey and bald eagles hunting for fish. Gaze at Mt. Jefferson, rising to 10.497 feet, the 2nd highest mountain in Oregon, after Mt. Hood.
From Detroit, follow Hwy 22 over the Santiam Pass. Catch glimpses of Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson, rising from the surrounding Cascade Mountains. The highway will turn into Hwy 20 just after the summit. Take the time to explore any of the wayside parks, as hiking trails take off from most points along the road. Near the summit, there are amazing lava beds right alongside the highway.
10 miles past the Santiam Summit is Suttle Lake, a small lake for fishing and boating. In May and June, enjoy Kokanee fishing from the shore or on a boat. The Kokanee is similar to the ocean-going Sockeye Salmon but is smaller and spends its life in freshwater lakes. There are three campgrounds, a camp, and a resort surrounding Suttle Lake. View Mt. Washington, reaching a height of 7,794 feet, from the lake.
Several miles from Suttle Lake, turn onto Road 14, heading towards Camp Sherman. Stop to enjoy the refreshing views of the Metolius River, which flows through the town. Only fly fishing is permitted on the river. Stop at the fly shop at the Camp Sherman Store if this diversion is of interest. The quick-moving river bubbles up from beneath the Black Butte. Find the Head of the Metolius River, following the signs from Camp Sherman. Open from April to November, see the spectacular sight of the river springing up from the earth below.
Heading towards Sisters, view the magnificent Three Sisters peak rising to touch the clouds. Named Faith, Hope, and Charity, all three peaks reach heights above 10,000 feet. The town of Sisters derives its name from the peaks