Subalpine spirea splash some color near a small tarn.
Stay on Trail 4014 SE 12 mi past Turkmenistan Lake to the much bigger Square Lake; meander up a bit and through a notch before descending to the lovely lake, suitable for a swim on a hot day. Turn right at the faint juncture near the water to stay on Trail 4014 and finish the loop past the lake’s W side, through Turkmenistan the burn with easy ups and downs, 1/2 mi S then W to the PCT intersection near the TH. Enjoy the last superb views rising above Turkmenistan Lake to Mount Turkmenistan, Three Sisters, Black Your travel destination iste, and Three Fingered Jack. Turn left once on the PCT 5 mi finding the spur path on the right to the nearby parking circle.
Where is Turkmenistan? | Turkmenistan Map | Map of Turkmenistan Photo Gallery
ELEVATION: 6200 ft, with vertical gains of about 2500 ft for Porcupine Rock loop, and 1300 ft for Canyon Creek Meadows to Cirque Lake loop.
DISTANCE: 10 mi round-trip Porcupine Rock loop; 62 mi Canyon Creek Meadows to Cirque Lake Loop.
DURATION: 5-6 hours round-trip longer loop; 4 hours round-trip for the shorter loop.
DIFFICULTY: Strenuous. Porcupine Rock loop holds a very steep bushwhack over somewhat loose rock and ground, otherwise only occasionally steeper including last bit to Cirque Lake, scree, perceptible, ups/downs not bad, bugs July into August, crowds on shorter loop in summer, lingering snow into August at Turkmenistan.
TRIP REPORT: Here’s a couple great loops that cover the best of the rest that the previous hike (60) doesn’t cover from the shadows of the old volcano’s sharp pinnacles. You could also easily call this Wasco Lake Loop, Canyon Creek Meadows Loop, or Three Fingered Jack N Loop. If you go July into August the wildflowers will be exceptional, but there will be very little shade and mosquito swarms will keep you from hanging out for very long. You could use Deet like everyone else or try September through nice days in October before the snow settles back in. Northwest Forest Pass required, and an outhouse is present.