Canyon Creek Meadows Hike


On a gorgeous mid-summer day we drove to Jack Lake a few miles east of Three Fingered Jack. There was nary a cloud in the sky nor a hint of a breeze.

The hike into the meadows of Canyon Creek Basin underneath the glacial moraine of the old volcano is very popular. The large parking area at the trailhead was nearly full.

The views were simply amazing. After reaching the upper meadows we climbed the steep moraine for a nice view of the mountain. The 7,841-foot jagged summit was only 1,800 feet above, highlighted by the streaks of red volcanic seams.

After dropping back to the lower meadows, we decided to hike to sparkling blue Wasco Lake before returning to the trailhead.

Much of the lower portion of the hike was dominated by burnt snags from a 2003 wildfire. In many ways it just added to the stark beauty of the wilderness.

The tasty barbecued steak dinner with our friends at Black Butte Ranch later that evening topped off a perfect day.

Mule Deer Doe browsing on a Manzinita bush

Mule Deer Doe caught browsing on a Manzinita bush

Trail leading through the meadows to Three Fingered Jack

Trail leading through the meadows to Three Fingered Jack

Your Humble Scribe

Your Humble Scribe

Red seams on Three Fingered Jack

Red volcanic seams on the face of Three Fingered Jack

Campers swimming in Wasco Lake

Hikers swimming in Wasco Lake

Jack Lake

Jack Lake

Mature Ponderosa Pine along a section of the lower trail

Mature Ponderosa Pines along a section of the lower trail

Hikers climbing the steep glacial moraine below Three Fingered Jack

Hikers climbing the steep glacial moraine below Three Fingered Jack

Pearly Everlastings growing in the old burn

Pearly Everlastings growing in the old burn

Lower meadows

Lower meadows

My Favorite Model enjoying a break

My Favorite Model enjoying a break

Mule Deer Doe after spotting your humble scribe

Mule Deer Doe floating on air after spotting your humble scribe

Wasco Lake

Wasco Lake

My Favorite Model in the upper meadows

My Favorite Model in the upper meadows

A ringer from Oct. 2012 – Three Fingered Jack reflected in Jack Lake, taken while elk hunting in the area

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Love that hike John – thanks for sharing. In the early summer, those upper hillsides are full of wildflowers.

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    • It is one of the classic hikes in the Oregon Cascades.
      Bill Sullivan put it on the cover of his 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades.
      You’re absolutely right about early summer and wildflowers. I was there once when snow still covered the upper meadows, but the lower meadows were alive with colorful wildflowers.
      It’s a winner!

      Like

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