Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Three Fingered Jack Circumnaivigation

For years we've been hiking and camping around the Santiam Pass on Highway 20. This includes Craig Lake- a small lake that you hike into that Three Fingered Jack looms over. One day I decided to find out about hiking a loop around Three Fingered Jack and found this simple yet great description on NWHiker. It got really fired up about it and several years later we found the time to do it. In that description he does a 20 mile loop in one day and adds in some bushwhacking to cut off a few miles. We decided to stick to existing trails and do an overnighter. Here's another description of this hike with much better pictures than mine!

We had a stunning sunset and even some epic lightning the night before we stared our hike. This was taken looking west above Santiam Pass's Lost Lake.

And we're off! A view of Hayrick and Hoodoo in the background.

Much of the trail is through the B & B Complex burn from 2003. It made for some great views but on these hot days I may have appreciated the shade even more.

Three Fingered Jack reaches to the sky.

We passed many cool trees with interesting burn patterns.

Taking a break at Jack Lake.

Heading towards Canyon Creek Meadows.

Beautiful creek that flows out of Canyon Creek Meadow!

Just fucking gorgeous!

Canyon Creek Meadow.

It was beautiful when we got here. Wildflowers were in full bloom and the meadow was covered in flowers of many colors. The hike was exhausting to me- we hiked most of the day in 90+ degree weather and open sun. Brutal! I put my feet in the snow melt creek and doused my head in the ice cold water.

View from the meadow.

We decided to head up to the swale between the peaks above the moraine lake to see the view and enjoy the sunset.

Working our way up.

Looking back down.

Looking up to our destination.

The moraine lake looked very low compared to pictures I had seen online. A couple of dry ass years in a row will do that I guess.

Views from the ridge! Mt. Washington, The Three Sisters and Broken Top to the south.

Jefferson looms large to the north.

Looking back down at the lake and meadow.

Looking west from the swale there's a high bluff with what looks like a fantastic camping spot. Just would need to be careful not to fall off the cliff during a midnight bathroom break.


The white dot is the mountain goat we watched for awhile.

Our path to the ridge from our campsite.

Heading home the next morning. A cool creek.

Wasco Lake

Wasco from above.

Western Toad

We took the PCT the entire way back.

This view might be familiar to anyone who has read PCT blogs.

Santiam Lake

Passing through a huge meadow.

Hoodoo off on the distance. See you next winter!

The hike out was a hot and sweaty affair so a jump in Big Lake was in order!

Here's an "ad" I filmed on the hike!

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