Hike Up To Three Fingered Jack (Almost)

10 08 2016
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A brooding Three Fingered Jack awaits hikers

Our first Metolius River Region activity was to be a hike up to Three Fingered Jack. The trailhead is at Jack Lake, reached via a bony unmaintained dirt road. Myself, Bill, Tatsuro, David, Teresa and Anthony all did this hike.

The weather at the trailhead was warm. Yet the mountain remained shrouded in clouds most of the hike. When it did emerge, we saw fresh snow coating the rocky slopes.

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The first part of the trail was warm and sunny. Later, lots of blow down lay across. Bear grass blooming!

Years ago a massive forest fire scorched this region. Initially, the trail climbs through new growth which has sprung up since then. Bear grass, huckleberry, and young pines cover the landscape. The upper reaches were spared the conflagration. Up there, trail crews hadn’t gotten a chance to fix winter’s carnage, so a number of downed trees lay across the trail. We had to climb over or under.

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Wildflowers and new growth coming back, amongst the charred remains of the old forest.

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Snow patches several feet thick became more numerous as we got closer to Canyon Creek. Canyon Creek Meadows is a beautiful area which by July is a carpet of wildflowers. Once at Canyon Creek, the entire meadow was a threaded series of snowmelt streams, and it became difficult to continue. I decided to stop with David, Teresa and Anthony at a log, and have lunch. Bill and Teresa hiked further, but it wasn’t long before they returned. The trail got buried under snow and mud up there.

 

The Canyon Creek Meadows hike to Three Fingered Jack is a must-do if you visit the Metolius area. It’s only a few miles up to the foot of the mountain. Beautiful views and an up close look at an extinct volcano make it worth the hike!


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