80 Appendix A13: Description Of Water Supply, Telephone System, Roads, And Trail System In Crater Lake National Park–1918

Crater Lake National Park: Administrative History by Harlan D. Unrau and Stephen Mark, 1987


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APPENDIX A13: Description Of Water Supply, Telephone System, Roads, And Trail System In Crater Lake National Park–1918


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Park headquarters is supplied with water from Anna Spring. A hydraulic ram pumps the water into a 5,000-gallon tank 40 feet higher than the buildings, which receive their supply by gravity. The east and west entrances are supplied from Sand Creek and Castle Creek, respectively. A 200-pound pressure pump connected with a two-horsepower gasoline engine and a 1,000-gallon tank is installed at each place. The lift at Sand Creek is 230 feet and at Castle Creek 220 feet. At the south entrance the ranger carries water one-fourth mile from a spring in the forest reserve. This is the first season that the spring has been known to go dry, necessitating the making of a trail down to Anna Creek, over which the ranger now carries water. There should he installed at this place a water system similar to the ones at the east and west entrances, but it would be unwise to purchase equipment at this time, for when the road construction is finished there should be pumps, engines, tanks, and pipe to spare, and it is suggested that a water system be installed with the surplus equipment that may be available at that time.

Funds are now available for a water system to supply public camps at the rim of the lake. Equipment and material was ordered as early as possible, but delivery is slow, and it is doubtful if the pump will be received in time to be installed before winter. However, it will be ready for the 1919 season.

Crater Lake Lodge is supplied from a spring about 2,500 feet south and 400 feet lower than the lodge. The water is pumped by a hydraulic ram, with a pump and 4-horsepower gasoline engine as an auxiliary, to a 3,000-gallon tank near the lodge. It is again pumped into a 1,000-gallon pressure tank for delivery to the lodge. There are some weak points in this system. It sometimes fails, and considerable fault could be found with it.

All the water in Crater Lake Park, including that of the lake, is exceedingly cold and clear, and has been found by scientists to be exceptionally pure.


The Park Service controls 20 miles and the United States Engineer Department 34 miles of telephone line in the park. The Engineer Department has 14 miles of line outside the park, connecting the eastern entrance with Kirk, at the end of the railroad.

The west entrance is connected with a line to Prospect, 18 miles, in which the park holds considerable Interest. This line Is valued principally for fire control and also to receive reports of stages and travel coming in from the Medford side. Twelve miles of this line is through the forest reserve, and by mutual agreement the Forest Service maintains 9 miles of it.

This line was built by a community of interest—private contributions and some assistance from Jackson County. A movement has been started which may result in the complete control of this line by the Park Service.

All service over the park lines, including that to Kirk and Prospect, is free, and, considering the temporary nature of much of the line, the service is very good.

The park’s system connects at the south entrance with the Klamath Telegraph & Telephone Co.’s line to Fort Klamath, 9 miles. A three-year contract has been made with this company, whereby they have free service over all park lines, in exchange for which they maintain 8 miles of line from the south entrance to park headquarters for 10 months and 5 miles of line from headquarters to Crater Lake Lodge for 4 months each year. They also keep telephones in repair on this line and give free service for all Government business between the park and Fort Klamath.


There are four roads in the park system, known as Pinnacles, Medford, Fort Klamath, and Rim Roads. The Pinnacles Road, 3.25 miles. connects the east entrance with the Rim Road at Lost Creek. The Fort Klamath Road, 11.4 miles, connects the south entrance with the Rim Road at Government Camp, 2 miles south of Crater Lake Lodge. The Medford Road. 6.84 miles, connects the west entrance with the Fort Klamath Road at park headquarters. These three roads have been open for travel since 1915, and are in good condition for dirt roads. The Rim Road, 35 miles, circles the lake. From Cloudcap to the Watchman, 21 miles. It has been open for travel since 1916, and is in fairly good condition for a dirt road. However, considerate improvement work will be necessary before the 14 mIles connecting Cloudcap and the Watchman, via the north side of the lake can be utilized. The 1919 season will be well advanced before this road can be used for the full 35 miles by the traveling public, but when completed it will afford a drive of unsurpassed beauty. The total length of roads in the park is 57 miles, and the maximum grade is 10 per cent, Many sandy stretches are encountered on the Rim Road which should he given a liberal supply of pumice gravel as soon as funds are available for such work.


The following-named trails make up the park system: The Watchman, 3.5 miles; Garfield, 1.3 miles; Lodge to lake, 1.2 miles; Wizard Island, 0.75 mile; Dewie, 2.05 miles; to Rim, south side, 1 mIle; park headquarters to Rim, 4 miles; Copeland Creek, 2.2 miles; Union Peak, 4 miles; Red Blanket, 2 miles; total, 22 miles.

A trail of very easy grade, on which horses and burros are now used, leads from the Rim near Crater Lake Lodge to the water, a descent of 900 feet, and visitors to Wizard Island find a good trail to the crater.

There is an excellent trail to the top of Garfield Peak. The one to the Watchman is a winding trail, passable for horses, and the lake is in full view for the entire distance.The Dewie trail is passable for autos. It affords a good view of Anna Creek Canyon and Dewie Falls.

An easy trail to Union Peak will be open for 1919 season. It wIll he passable for light vehicles for about 3 miles. The remaining distance to the base of the peak wild be a good horse trail. The last one-fourth mile to the top of the peak must be made on foot. It is very steep, but the footing is good and the climb is easy. It ascends 700 feet in one-fourth mile. The view from the top of this peak is well worth the climb.

The Red Blanket trail extends past Union Peak to Bald Top and Red Blanket, It was constructed this year. It is very rough and steep. It connects with a ranger trail In the forest reserve near the southwest corner of the park. It is valuable as a patrol trail and also in case of fire.

Annual Report of the Director of the National Park Service, 1918, pp. 160-61.