Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
6.60 mi (10.62 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Canyon Creek Meadows is a beautiful, moderate hike through alpine forest into spectacular wildflower meadows at the base of the craggy and colorful Three Fingered Jack. This is a very popular route, and for good reason. The 7-mile loop starts at Jack Lake after a rough drive up to the trailhead, and it gradually climbs out of the 2003 B&B Complex burn area into an old alpine forest and stream fed meadows. The distance from the trailhead to the meadows is short, and one can either turn around and head back or continue the loop around Jack Lake.  If you plan to make the loop, Forest rangers request that you follow a clockwise path around the loop.

For those who don’t mind a scramble, follow the “non-maintained” trail to the upper meadow and hike up to the glacier tarn. This beautiful, turquoise-blue tarn is fully exposed by mid to late August. From this point, you have views north to the upper meadow and Mount Jefferson in the distance. If you’d like more elevation gain, continue the scramble up to the saddle where you will be up close with Three Fingered Jack’s sheer and jagged east face. Once on the saddle, you will have a view south to Mount Washington, Three Sisters, and Broken Top.

The best time to visit these meadows is in July, when the wildflowers take center stage. Permits are required to camp in this area, however. Due to overuse and inconsiderate visitors, the area needs rehabilitation. The Forest Service has posted signage in the most damaged areas. Please read the literature at the trailhead and abide by the guidelines. This will help ensure the place stays beautiful for the next generation of visitors.

If you need to cool off during a hot summer’s day, hike the 0.7-mile spur to Wasco Lake for a swim. The area around the lake was burned as part of the same B&B Complex fire, but there are a few pockets of trees and campsites around the lake.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Wildflower meadows. Epic views of Three Fingered Jack.

Cons

Can be very crowded during the summer. Road to the trailhead can be overgrown and narrow.

Trailhead Elevation

5,041.00 ft (1,536.50 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

07/26/2017
Hiked this trail on July 26, 2017. The lower meadow is the best we have seen it! Lots of flowers and the lupine is out in full bloom. Paintbrush is just coming on so a couple more weeks of awesomeness! The upper meadow has some flowers. The heather is starting to bloom but it will be another two or three weeks until the lupine is out in full bloom. The cirque Lake is covered in snow. We did see about six mountain goats up on the cliffs to the right of Three Fingered Jack. Have fun!
06/21/2016
Early season camping. Mosquitoes are an issue at Wasco Lake this time of year.
08/06/2016
Amazing day filled with flowers, endless views, unreal water colors, an avalanche and goats.

We made it up to the ridge about the tarn and then headed down and all the way out to Wasco Lake. I definitely recommend checking the lakes out if you have time. Even on a super busy Saturday we had the lake to ourselves.
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