Little Brother sits at the base of North Sister and the Collier Glacier in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness. It is relatively unknown and unclimbed peak because it is dwarfed by it's bigger Sisters. While it is not a 10,000+-foot peak like the Three Sisters that tower above, it is a fun scramble with breathtaking views of North, Middle, and Collier Glacier, Oregon's largest glacier. Views also include all of the Cascades to the north to Mt. Hood, Collier Cone, The Husband, and miles of lava flows in the wilderness area. Makes for a fun scramble in an incredible area
Little Brother can be reached by way of the Pacific Crest Trail. There are 3 different approaches, all of which are about the same distance. Options are available to turn this into a very nice loop for a long day hike, or an overnight backpacking trip with amazing campsites along the way. All of the trailheads can be found along HWY 242 (McKenzie Pass Highway).
Obsidian and Scott Trails can be accessed from the Frog Camp parking area. (NOTE: Frog Camp is not really a campground, just a loop with many parking spots) About 4 miles west of McKenzie Pass there is a well-marked sign for the Obsidian Trailhead (3528). From here you have an option to take either trail, Obsidian or Scott..
Another option is joining up with the PCT from the Lava Camp Lake area less than a mile east of McKenzie Pass.
Approaching from Sawyer Bar on the PCT below Oppie Dildock Pass appears to be a more direct route, but the views of Collier Glacier, North and South Sister, and Little Brother itself from the south rim of Collier Cone are unmatched.
It also appears that an approach from the south via the Sunshine area would be an an easy scramble as well, but I have only viewed this route from a distance. If you have any info on these routes please add it.
NOTE: If you plan on hiking the Obsidian Trail (3528) make sure you have a Limited Entry Permit – See Red Tape
You'll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park at the trailhead. No self-issuing pay station available at trailhead. Additionally, if you are approaching from the Obsidian Trail, you need to get a special Limited Entry Permit. It's required for day and night trips in to this area. These are free and only issued from the McKenzie Ranger District. They can be obtained over the phone or in person within 30 days of your trip. (see below for contact info)
When To Climb
The approach trails are generally open from mid-summer to late fall. The McKenzie HW is closed during winter making a winter approach extremely long. Summer months are best for climbing, and August wildflowers are amazing.
There are very nice campsites at Minnie Scott Spring and at Sunshine in the Obsidian Area. Campsites are also available along nearby HWY 242, such as Lava Camp, Scott Lake, and Frog Camp/Obsidian TH (Frog Camp has no tent sites, so be prepared to sleep in your vehicle)
McKenzie Ranger District
57600 McKenzie Highway
McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413
Sisters Ranger District
PO Box 249
Sisters, OR 97759
541-549-2111 or 541-549-7700
(located on the corner of Pine St. and Highway 20 in Sisters)