Three Fingered Jack Hike
Located between Central Oregon and the Willamette Valley lives an extinct volcano named after its unique formations, Three Fingered Jack. You can access the mountain from the Pacific Crest Trail. During the summer months a visitor can hike in from Jack Lake (what I recommend). Three fingered Jack has one glacier that feeds into a lake near the summit.
The volcano is from the Pleistocene period which lasted from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago. The end of the Pleistocene matches with the final part of the last glacial period. When you first glance at the peaks from the trailhead it is obvious that this mountain has been through some serious shit! During the right time in the summer a giant field of Lupine bloom and turn this paradise into a photographers dream.
This was my favorite hike from 2014. A good friend and I backpacked in for three nights and two days. We started our trip at 10pm and started the hike with nothing but a headlamp and a cell phone. A few friendly campers at Jack Lake headed us in the right direction. As we hike 2 miles or so we could start to see the outline of the mountain. We kept climbing up and up until we had no idea where the hell we were. At one point we were sitting on top of a ridge close to the summit, I couldn’t stop thinking how beautiful this was going to be in the morning.
No place to set up camp we headed back down into a meadow known as Canyon Creek Meadows. Found a spot that looked ok to set up camp and passed out. Early the next morning I woke for sunrise and only 50 feet from the lupine bloom. Snapped a few photos of this surreal mountain and started scouting out other camp sites around the mountain (where we set up was out in the open). Shortly after I found a spot near the creek with a camp fire and seating. We had a creek for water and were at the base of the mountain. I’ve never had such a unique spot before.
Broken Top’s no name lake compared to this one, but has a lot more foot traffic. That is what made this trip the best of 2014. Very little people and a camp spot to ourselves. I highly recommend this place to all people. Not a very hard hike and beautiful spots to camp.
During the day we explored around the mountain, even found a snow cave. At night we sat by the fire and enjoyed our time away from civilization. We will be returning here time and time again. Photos below were taken with my cell phone and dslr for documentary purposes.
January 25, 2015
three fingered jack