Three Fingered Jack/South Ridge

A classic Cascades volcano climb in Oregon that gains the south ridge and ends with about 200 feet of 5th class climbing. It's 12 miles round trip and roughly 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

getting there

Drive US 20 in Oregon to the Pacific Crest Trail trailhead. It's ~100 miles east of I-5.


Hike north on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for 4.7 miles. Look for a climbers trail that allows you to ascend the south shoulder of Three Fingered Jack.

Ascent route

From the PCT ascend the climbers trail to a notch on the south ridge.  Once you have gained the ridge, scramble up the ridge to until you reach a steep exposed section of rock known as the "Crawl." The Crawl is usually protected with a handline.  After the Crawl continue to scramble up the ridge until you come a low fifth class chimney.  Place gear and climb the chimney and set up a top rope for the rest of the climbing party. From the top of the chimney it is an exposed scramble to the summit.

Descent route

Rappel off of the summit and scramble back to the Crawl.  Use a handline to traverse the Crawl and then scramble back down to the PCT.

trip profile

Trailhead to Camp 2.5
Camp to Summit 3-5
Summit to Trailhead 5


Standard glacier gear, rock gear and a light rack up to 3 inches.


  • Guidebook: Best Climbs: Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot (FalconGuides 2012).
  • The Rock is loose and brittle and the exposure on this climb is significant and the route is difficult to protect.
  • The route is narrow and passing other parties is difficult.
  • A group of no more than 4 is the recommended party size. The summit block is very small and not well suited for larger climbing parties.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 3, Technical 4, Crag Rock Climb
  • Length: 12.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft
  • 7,841 ft
  • Green Trails Three Fingered Jack No. 589
  • USGS Three Fingered Jack, OR
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