For Upper Canyon Creek Meadow beneath Cirque Lake, take the easygoing spur left across the creek 3A mi SW. Walk through lupine-blanketed meadows then move through the woods on the main spur trail or on the narrower path nearest Canyon Creek to the wide-open upper meadow directly under the very distinctive Three Fingered Jack (near the confluence of another creek). Enjoy the scenery under the NE face of Three Fingered Jack from the flatter meadow littered with lupine, paintbrush, and others, and return down or take the path left of the meadow (1/2 mi up to Cirque Lake) easily for a moment.
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Then hike left of the rocky moraine ridge and cirque surrounding the lake as the route becomes abruptly steep with a few observable choices that work well. At the top of the steepest part near larger boulders, move right a few feet over the rocks and snow to the rim above Cirque Lake, a stunning milky green pool receiving snow melt from the only lasting glacier on the mountain directly above. See Porcupine Rock on the NE ridge and the top of Mount Jefferson over the moraine and valley below. Some people scramble 5 mi and 300 ft more very steeply up to a saddle for even more views. Return back down steeply then quite easily through the meadows.
From the intersection in Canyon Creek Meadows near the babbling brook take the steeper branch of Trail 4010 more directly to the right back to Trail 4014 near the TH, or stay on the creek (also Trail 4010) for the clockwise loop (easier but 5 mi longer to the TH). For the direct trail right move by tarns and wildflowers in and out of unburned trees with easy ups and downs before the trail becomes steeper up 2 quick switchbacks. Continue up through the woods before rounding the shoulder beginning a stress-free descent a mile to the last major juncture near Jack Lake, turning right on Trail 4014.
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