Three Fingered Jack Backpacking Loop

35.68 miles, 4,623 feet gain, 1 night

Three Fingered Jack is a shield volcano in Oregon's Cascade Range, between Mt. Jefferson and the Mt. Washington. At 7,844 feet, it's overshadowed by the nearby Three Sisters, but is still a prominent peak in the area.
We started our loop around Three Fingered Jack at Round Lake Trailhead in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. While there are many access points to this loop, we picked Round Lake because we were lucky enough to snag an overnight permit there (everything else was taken).

If you're starting at Round Lake, don't follow Google Maps to the trailhead! You'll get onto a very rough road, which is not passable by passenger cars with low clearance. We ended up having to park 2.5 miles from the trailhead, adding a total of 5 miles to the round trip. Instead of following Google Maps, turn left onto NF-1210 from Jack Lake Road, and continue on NF-1210 for 5.8 miles. At Round Lake, turn right onto NF-600, driving a short distance to the trail marker near the Round Lake Wilderness retreat. This route is slightly longer, but much better graded.
Square Lake, Oregon
We looped clock-wise around Three Fingered Jack, making detours for Summit lake and Canyon Creek meadows. Canyon Creek meadows is a great spot to view wildflowers, and get close-up views Three Fingered Jack's eastern face. If you're willing to make the scramble, you can also climb to the summit near here.

As you make your way around the loop, you'll get panoramic views of the Mt. Jefferson wilderness, and views down to Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters in the south. A large portion of the loop is through scrubby, open burn, and can be excruciatingly hot on summer days. Thankfully, the route is punctuated by a large amount of lakes and meadows and it is never too far to a water source.
Checking out Square Lake, Oregon
There's good camping all around the loop, mostly at the various lakes. We ended up camping at Wasco lake, which is popular with backpackers. All the camping areas along this route are primitive.

The second day back to the car was a bit of a slog - we had much farther to hike than planned, and the temperatures were creeping into the nineties by afternoon. By the time we made it back to the car, we were exhausted, dusty, and dead-tired from the heat, but thankful for our time in the beautiful Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.

Three Fingered Jack behind Canyon Creek MeadowsJack Glacier on Three Fingered JackRelaxing in a meadow near Three Fingered JackCanyon Creek Meadows, Oregon
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Heart Rock at Joshua Tree
Thanks for visiting our travel blog, Trails And Trekking! We're Lauren and Anders - an adventure loving couple currently stationed in the Pacific Northwest. We're avid hikers, backpackers, and travelers. We're both originally from Oregon, but we've spent the last two years traveling the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We created this blog to share our passion for exploring the outdoors, and to inspire you to get outside.