Yesterday was my brother’s last full day in town, and he was interested in doing a backcountry hike in the sisters. On what may end up as the warmest day of the year (the temperature got up to 75 in town), we headed out around 9am to climb the Middle Sister. It took us 4 hours or so to reach the summit. From there we followed the ridge back to the last saddle on the south ridge of the North Sister. From there we made our way down into the valley above Indian River Falls. Along the way, we made some unfortunate choices and had to thrash through some unpleasantness (especially considering our warm weather clothing). We finally made it down to the falls about 3 hours after leaving the ridge top. It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to get back to the trailhead from the falls.
Indian River Trail has seen quite a bit of work done to it since I was last at the Falls in early June. The trail is in very good condition. The brush has been cleared all the way to the falls. The trail itself has been fixed up with several small bridges rebuilt, and several sections with river gravel put in to fix up muddy areas.
We passed four people on our way up Indian River Trail, saw three people coming down the Middle Sister, and passed four people on the trail on our way back. I’m sure there were many more on the trail during the day, given the weekend and weather.