Great Central Oregon Hike in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness
Hiking to Three Fingered Jack via Jack Lake and Canyon Meadow Loop is an annual event for us. Located in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, access to the trailhead is outside of Camp Sherman off Hwy 20 via several paved and dirt roads. But once hikers arrive at the trailhead, the path is obvious.
The trail starts next to Jack Lake, which reflects the burned trees of the 2003 B&B Complex Fire, but also the new growth that has come back since. It is evident that the new Wilderness Permits are required to take this hike.
The trail opens at Canyon Meadow, which survived the 2003 fire unscathed. Canyon Creek runs through the meadow and during the summer, the blooming wildflowers, the sound of the creek and the beauty of towering Three Fingered Jack create an unparalleled Wilderness experience.
Once hikers reach the base of the mountain, there is a moraine which can be climbed (a scramble up loose rocks) which provides a perspective of the glacial lake and, if you are lucky, a view of the mountain goats which are known to live in the area.
For hikers who make it up to the saddle above the lake, the views of the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson are amazing as are the close up views of the jagged rocks of Three Fingered Jack (the eroded core of an extinct 100,000 year old volcano). Hikers should be careful coming down from the saddle as the rock is loose and the grade exceeds 30 degrees in some areas. Overall, the hike gains 1600 feet in a little over 3 miles and the entire loop is under 8 miles.
Original blog can be read at Bend Premier Real Estate's blog page.