Day 14: Three Fingered Jack

Prologue: I apologize for the delay in posting these updates to my hike – uploading this many photos requires strong Wifi – most of the little towns I’ve been passing through don’t seem to have that capability. ☹️

PCT Mile 1999 – 2021

Miles Hiked = 22

I was on the trail before 6am again. I had about 2 miles until I crossed Highway 20 at Santiam Pass, a major road that links western Oregon with Sisters and Bend to the east. Before I reached the road I passed the 2000 mile marker.

The sun was rising as I walked through the quite forest

Soon I could see Three Fingered Jack in the distance. My goal this morning was to hike around the west (left) side – the trail would slowly gain 1700 feet in altitude over the next seven miles.

There is a trailhead just past the highway. I was hoping for a water cache but no such luck. But there was a pit toilet so I was once again a happy hiker!

Many, if not most, PCT hikers are exiting the trail at Santiam Pass (this highway) because the trail is closed in twenty-eight miles due to last year’s Lionshead Fire. Exiting now (at this highway) makes sense for most thru-hikers because there are more opportunities for bus-rides, shuttles or hitchhiking around the closure. I’ve made arrangements with my good friends Tom and Karen who live near Portland to pick me up at the Pamelia Lake Trailhead which is near the official closure. Thanks Tom and Karen!

As I started my climb I soon entered the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

And then I had a good look back at Mt. Washington which I had passed yesterday. You can also see the Sisters in the distance to the left of Mt. Washington.

Most of the morning hike up to Three Fingered Jack was through a burn zone

Flower of the Day:

This flower is called a Scarlet Gilia, also know as Scarlet Trumpet of Scarlet Skyrocket. It is a perennial wildflower that is common in North America. It is very common along the PCT and blooms in the summer and early fall and has trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and caterpillars.

I took a break in the morning and happened to have cellular service so I sent a “good morning” selfie to Donna.

Good Morning Tutu

Finally I got through the burn zone and re-entered the forest.

Then more great views to the south of Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters.

Three Fingered Jack was directly in front of me.

I walked across a small patch of snow – the first of the year.


Late in the morning I reached the northern side of Three Fingered Jack and enjoyed a different perspective of the jagged mountain.

Three Fingered Jack

I also had my best view yet of the next Cascade volcano to the north – Mt. Jefferson. I would spend my afternoon hiking towards this large mountain.

Mt. Jefferson is the second tallest mountain in Oregon – Mt. Hood is the tallest. As the trail descended after traversing around the western flank of Three Fingered Jack, I passed through another burn zone.

Three Fingered Jack

Later in the afternoon, as I approached Mt. Jefferson, I faced some challenges as the trail went up this ridge line.

As I reached the top, I had another view back at Three Fingered Jack and the Three Sisters

I collected water and had lunch at this beautiful little lake. As I went to collect water from the lake I surprised a water snake and it swam off wondering who the heck I was – unfortunately I didn’t have my camera☹️

I continued towards Mt. Jefferson

Late in the afternoon I was finally getting closer.
Mt. Jefferson

Finally I found a campsite below Mt. Jefferson – this was my view!

Today was a really good day on the trail with some great views. Thanks for following.

PS: Thanks very much for the comments – I really appreciate the feedback – it helps keep me motivated!

8 thoughts on “Day 14: Three Fingered Jack

  1. Glad to know you’re ok and it was just bad WiFi! Just beautiful pictures and gorgeous blue skies! Is that the first snake you’ve seen so far? Trek on and be safe!


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