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Discover the beauty of Three Fingered Jack (elevation 7,844’) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on this magnificent 25-mile loop. This trail features pristine singletrack, endless mountain views, clear mountain lakes, a gorgeous glacier, and if you’re lucky, mountain goats!
We recommend doing this loop clockwise so you tackle the majority of the vertical gain (3,546’ total) early on. Park at the PCT Trailhead off Highway 20, across the highway from Ray Benson Sno-Park. The first 10 miles are on the iconic PCT, which features incredible wildflowers and spectacular mountain views. In the first 6.75 miles, you gain 1,600 feet of vertical gain as you climb through a vast burn area. At mile 7, you’ll be amazed by the closeup views of Mt. Jefferson. Around mile 10, you depart the PCT and take a right onto the Old Summit Trail. This leads you past Wasco Lake, which is a good source to filter clean water.
Stay on the Old Summit Trail for about 1.5 miles until you see the turnoff for the Canyon Creek Trail. This trail is optional to add-on, but is so worth it because it takes you to the base of a gorgeous, green glacier that sits beneath Three Fingered Jack’s jagged landscape. The glacier is a great spot to sit and listen for mountain goats climbing across the steep cliffs of loose scree. Hop on the Canyon Creek trail for a couple miles and take a right turn back onto the Old Summit Trail.
When you reach the Jack Lake Trailhead, you have about 8 miles to get back to the PCT Trailhead. Make sure to fill up on clean water here because this next 8 mile section takes you through dry, exposed burn areas and the trail gets pretty sandy in the summer. You’ll get great views of Brokentop, the 3 Sisters, and Mount Washington, as you head south on the Old Summit Trail towards Square Lake. Say goodbye to Three Fingered Jack once you reach Square Lake because you won’t see it again. From Square Lake, enjoy the relatively flat 2 mile stretch back to the car. You’ll definitely be hungry at the end of this beautiful loop, so don’t forget to fill up on delicious food in Sisters (Sno-Cap drive-in, Sisters Coffee Co., Sisters Bakery, etc.) as you journey back home!
Safety tip: This loop takes you through an extensive burn area. Be sure to bring lots of water, a water filter, sunscreen, and snacks!