Report – 02 Roads, Trails and Bridges

Report of the Superintendent of the Crater Lake National Park, 1910

 Roads, Trails and Bridges.

 There are three wagon roads in the park—one running from the south line of the park, a distance of 8 miles, to the superintendent’s headquarters; one from the superintendent’s headquarters, a distance of 5 miles, to the rim of the crater at Crater Lake; and one from the headquarters in the park to the west line of the park in the direction of Medford, Oreg., a distance of about 7 miles.

During the past season all of these roads have been kept in as good condition for travel as was possible with the very small working force available. These roads should he widened and straightened. The soil which forms the surface of these roads is of lava or volcanic formation, and vehicles passing soon cut the surface and convert it into a very fine and deep dust. During the past season the very dusty condition of the roads was the most disagreeable feature of traveling in the park. There being an abundance of water at convenient places I recommend that three good road sprinklers be purchased and that these roads be thoroughly sprinkled during the season of 1911. The cost of such improvement would be nominal in comparison to the benefit received by the traveling public.

There are four trails in the reserve. One runs from the wagon road 3 miles south of the lake to Garfield Peak, Applegate Peak, Sun Creek, Sand Creek, The Pinnacles, and Mount Scott in the eastern portion of the park, a distance of 10 miles. One runs from the superintendent’s headquarters to Union Peak in the western portion of the park, a distance of 5 miles. A third runs from the superintendent’s headquarters to Bybee Creek and Bybee Prairie in the northwest portion of the park, a distance of 8 miles. One trail runs from the rim of the crater to the shore of Crater Lake. All these trails. excepting the last named, are little more than mere horse tracks, very little improvement work ever having been done on them.

The trail from the rim to the water’s edge is one that is much used and as at present located is 3,580 feet in length. At the rim it is 1,011 feet above the water.

Under charge of Maj. J. J. Morrow, Corps of Engineers. U. S. Army. there is now being located and surveyed a system of roads and trails; and under direction of Mr. H. L. Gilbert, chief of engineers in the field, a trail was located and surveyed in the month of August. Until the close of the working season I have had a small force of men working upon the construction of this trail.

This new trail, when completed, will be broad, smooth, and of easy and safe grade. It has been finished about two-thirds of the distance from the summit or rim of the crater down to the water of the lake. It will be one of the best pieces of improvement work that has ever been done in the park.

During the winter and spring this trail is always considerably washed out and injured by the rains and melting snows. Considerable repair work will be necessary besides the remaining construction work.

There are 13 bridges upon the roads in the reserve ranging from 16 to 104 feet in length. No new bridges have been built this season, and only small amount of repair work has been necessary, but the bridges will require considerable repair and improvement work during the season of 1911.


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