Canyon Creek Meadows Hike, Three Fingered Jack
My husband and I have lived in Bend for the past 5 years and with the exception of a few hiking trails, we always try to visit new ones as there are so many. I have heard numerous times about the epic views of Three Finger Jack and beautiful wildflowers at Canyon Creek Meadows but until this past weekend we just had never had time. Timing of the wildflowers seems to be a little hit or miss, but I would say that from mid-July to late August is a prime time to visit this area. In heavy snowfall years, it may be wise to go in August. This hike did not disappoint at all and definitely ranks in my top 5 hikes in the area. My only recommendation would be to go early in the morning so you will get more optimal views of Three Finger Jack as the mountainside will be bathed in sunlight.
The Canyon Creek Meadows trailhead is about 45 minutes from FivePine Lodge and starts from Jake Lake Trail. From the lodge head West on Hwy 20 past Camp Sherman and take a right on Jake Lake Rd. Drive about 4.2 miles and turn left on FS 1230. Go another 1.6 miles and continue on the gravel road. Continue another 1 mile and stay left on FS 1234. From here the next 5 miles to the trail is pretty bumpy.
The parking lot does fill up quickly during peak months and weekends. We were able to go on a Friday afternoon and the area was pretty full around noon. There is a restroom at the parking area as well. Due to the trails popularity, it is patrolled by the Forest Service. You can pick up a National Forest Pass from the FivePine Lodge front desk for $5. This is also a great trail for your 4 legged companions as there is a no leash law.
When you begin your hike, you will pass Jake Lake on the left side. Shortly after, you will come to a sign for Canyon Creek Meadows and Wasco Lake. There is the lower and upper Canyon Creek Meadows and to the lower meadows is about 2.25 miles. This is a relatively easy hike and is manageable for younger children. The first mile or so takes you through the remnants of the B&B fire that occurred in 2003. There is lots of new growth which is wonderful to see. Once you reach the lower meadows there are many downed trees that make for a nice stopping point to sit down and enjoy some lunch. These areas provide a small amount of wildflowers, but if you are willing and able I would highly recommend continuing your journey to the upper meadows. It is about 1.5 miles and is much steeper, but so worth the trek.
If you want to continue to the upper meadow, take the trail to your left. As you continue your trek, you will see more and more wildflowers. Bug spray is highly recommended and if you are allergic to bees, be prepared!