Directions: From Sisters, follow U.S. Highway 20 northwest for about 12 miles, then turn right on Forest Road 12, following it north to Forest Road 1230 (near Jack Creek). Stay on 1230, and Cabot Lake Trailhead is at the end of 1230.

Free permits: Wilderness permits are required for both day-use and overnight stays. The free permits are self-issued at the trailhead. Mountain biking and motorized use are prohibited.

With snow still blocking many trails at about 6,000 feet, hikers are facing a two- to three-week delay to the high-elevation backcountry hiking season this summer in the Central Oregon Cascades. If looking for a scenic wilderness hike but not wanting to encounter snow before accessing dramatic alpine terrain and views, hikers can venture northwest of Bend to the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. The Cabot Lake Trail leads hikers 4½ miles to Carl Lake, at about 5,600 feet in elevation, just east of the Cascade crest. Accessing the Cabot Lake Trailhead requires a drive of about 14 miles on paved and gravel Forest Service roads north from U.S. Highway 20 near Suttle Lake.

—Mark Morical, The Bulletin

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