Brokentop Circuit

📘 Fastpacking

The Brokentop Circuit is a 42-mile route circumnavigating Brokentop. This page describes the version of the route I usually cover. However, my version skips a really stunning section of trail that traverses from No Name Lake to Tam McArthur Rim, so I recommend visiting this area on day 2 by extending the route with an out & back.




I like this as a 2-day route, appropriate for a laid back fastpack trip. For the first day, start at Skyliners Sno Park and camp at Golden Lake. On the second day, loop around back to the start.

The first day begins with a long, consistent uphill to mile 13 at Tam McArthur Rim. It's worth taking the out & back as mapped on my Caltopo link above, to get the really good view at the top of the rim. After this, descend to Three Creek Lake. I find this to be a great lunch spot.

Fun fact - Three Creek Lake is not "Three Creeks Lake", but you'll often see people mistakenly calling it this (understandably). Instead it's named for Three Creek. Just downstream of the lake is Three Creek Meadow, where three creeks join to form Three Creek. This is the source of the name.

Find the Little Three Creek Lake trailhead. I like to cross the dam, continue between two campsites, and turn right on the road to find the trailhead. Head toward Park Meadow, passing through a burn area and crossing a few creeks along the way. From Park Meadow, it's about a mile uphill to the unmarked Golden Lake turnoff, then another half mile to the lake.

After camping at Golden Lake, proceed over Green Lakes Pass, past the lakes, and across the south side of Brokentop. Take the Crater Ditch Trail out of the wilderness and the Bridge Creek Trail back down to Tumalo Falls.

As mentioned above, the Bridge Creek trail can be difficult to follow. Use a GPS track to guide you through the meadows and to consult if a fallen tree is obscuring the trail. This is the best spot to observe wildlife. I've seen a bear, elk, and even wild turkeys on this trail!

Route Options

Water Sources

Cue Sheet