TRAILHEAD: Canyon Creek Meadows (Jack Lake) TH. Take I-5 S from Portland to exit 253 in Salem, turn left for OR-22 E (Detroit Lake/Bend) 80 mi into OR-126 E/US-20 E 13 mi, turn left after Suttle Lake (milepost 88) on Jack Lake Road (FR-12) 42 ml, turn left on Jack Lake Road (FR-1230) 1/2 mi into gravel almost 6 mi more (washboard, rougher last miles, AWD preferred) to the end with ample parking near a small primitive campground (150 mi, 3 hours from Portland).
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ROUTE: See Three Fingered Jack from the TH and fill out a free self-issue Wilderness Permit at the signage, beginning farthest to the right of the parking lot. Take the fork in a few feet to the right on Summit Lake Trail 4014 around the E side of quaint Jack Lake with a possible reflection of Three Fingered Jack looking W. It’s less than 5 mi from the TH easily up to a juncture in the middle of the burn zone (2003 B&B Complex Fire) on a small saddle. The signed Canyon Creek Meadows Trail 4010 moves up left and is the possible return trail for the long counterclockwise loop that includes Wasco Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail to the bushwhack under Porcupine Rock.
For the direct route to Cirque Lake and Canyon Creek Meadows as part of the recommended shorter clockwise loop, proceed left on Trail 4010 up quite easily a mile over the wide, dusty trail past a few low pines creeping up through the burn. Pass a couple decent little tarns before rounding a shoulder then descending, steeper at times with turns and ups and downs, 3A mi (and past smaller tarns and wildflowers) to the three-way intersection in Canyon Creek Meadows. Turn right for the continuation of the recommended clockwise loop on Trail 4010 reading below for the description.