Canyon Creek Meadows Hike
From Oregon Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Jack Lake Trailhead
- Ending Point: Upper Canyon Creek Meadow
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Distance: 6.5 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 900 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Seasons: July - September
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: Yes
- Crowded: Yes, on weekends
The Canyon Creek Meadows Hike is a favorite of many Oregon hikers, for a good reason. The trailhead is just 45 minutes out of Bend, and it features meadows, waterfalls, creeks, and a close-up view of Three Fingered Jack. (Views of TFJ are best in the morning, with the sun behind you.) Upper Canyon Creek Meadow is a large flat area directly under the 7841' summit pillars of Three fingered Jack. In July and August, tons of wildflowers may be blooming along the trail and in the meadows.
From the Jack Lake Trailhead, follow the trail around the east side of the lake, and take a left at the junction. You'll have the option to return on the other trail on your way back, if you wish. The trail begins climbing, alternating between stands of burnt forest and firs/hemlocks. 2 miles from the junction you will be at Lower Canyon Creek Meadow. The views are good, but they get better if you continue on. The other trail connects here, and this is another way back to the trailhead.
Continue straight, heading directly towards Three Fingered Jack. You will climb some more, and pass several meadows some great creek scenes. A mile past the junction, you will end up at your destination, the Upper Meadow. Explore around, take pictures, or set up camp, and enjoy the amazing view.
If you still have energy, the trail continues for another half mile up to an overlook above a glacial lake, and then up to a saddle on the shoulder of Three Fingered Jack. It is a worthy side trip, but it is steep, exposed, and crumbly at times. This side trip is not recommended for younger children. The add-on will give you another mile and 500 feet of elevation gain, making for 7.5 miles and 1400' total.
After you return to the lower meadow, there are two ways to get back to the trailhead. Turning right will take you back down the trail you came in on, while turning left will take you along a different route, passing small waterfalls and then a junction to Wasco Lake and the Eight Lakes Basin. Note that if you take this more northerly route home, you will be walking about a half-mile farther.
Fees, Regulations, etc.
- Northwest Forest Pass required at the trailhead
- Free, self-issued Wilderness Permits are required (one per group)
- No camping within 100 feet of water or trails. Please respect the environment and other hikers
- Search Trip Reports for Canyon Creek Meadows
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Canyon Creek Meadows
Guidebooks that cover this hike
- Jamey Pyles (creator)