Mount Jefferson East

Three-Fingered Jack’s glacial lake, just above Canyon Creek Meadows.

The Cabot Lake Trail curves around a lava flow towards Mount Jefferson north of Carl Lake.

Ponderosa pines on Green Ridge.

The horn of the Metolius River, only a dozen miles east of Mount Jefferson but already a world away. On the opposite side of the river is the Warm Springs Reservation, entry to which is prohibited to non-tribal members. Exploring the horn is a magnificent and lonely adventure, especially in spring and fall when the weather is at its best here.

87. Three-Fingered Jack Loop

88. Blue Lake

89. Suttle, Scout and Dark Lakes

90. Round and Square Lakes

91. Head of Jack Creek

92. Canyon Creek Meadows

93. Rockpile Lake and South Cinder Peak

94. Carl Lake and South Cinder Peak

95. Table Lake Loop

96. Jefferson Lake Trail and Table Lake

97. Black Butte

98. Green Ridge

99. Metolius River: Canyon Creek to Wizard Falls

100. Metolius River: Wizard Falls to Lower Bridge

101. Metolius River: Into the Horn

The eastern slope of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness and surrounding environs burned horribly in the B+B Fire in 2003. As a result, most of the first ten hikes in this section have long stretches of blackened trail. The fire may have changed the character of these hikes but the area remains extremely beautiful, and you will appreciate the islands of unburned forest all that much more after passing the miles in burned timber. If hot, dusty trail through fire-scarred forest isn’t your thing, the Metolius River is a cool oasis that will please pretty much everyone who enjoys the outdoors.

The Wilderness Trails (Hikes 87 and 91 - 96) are generally accessible from July to October, as the trails on the western slope are. The Jefferson Lake Trailhead (Hike 96) is accessible much earlier, but no trail suffered worse in the B+B fire; indeed, most of the trail network that once crossed this corner of the wilderness has been lost to impenetrable thickets of snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus). The trails along the Metolius have a much longer season, as some of the roads are plowed all winter and others melt out early in the season. The trails near Santiam Pass, Black Butte and Green Ridge are also accessible for much of the year and offer excellent opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.

The roads in this area are in general better than any of the other sections of this book, but some caution is nevertheless important. While most of the roads are good, the road to Black Butte (Hike 97) is fairly rough. One thing that you need to watch out for is deadfall on the roads; with so much burned forest, downed trees are common. You may want to bring an ax or a chainsaw with you just in case you encounter such a problem. Likewise, a small saw is a good idea, as you can saw out deadfall on trails. Some of the trails in this area see only infrequent maintenance, so anything you can do to help is good trail stewardship.

Note: As of 2020, a permit system will be in place for the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. Please check online to learn more about the details of this system, and how to obtain permits for these hikes.