Lloyd Smith photo

Quick Start Trails Index

Quick Start for Your Hiking at Crater Lake

Short Hikes – (15 – 45 minutes)

Sun Notch Viewpoint

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Length: 0.25 mile one way
  • Elevation: 7,000 to 7,115 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: 4 miles east of Park Headquarters on the East Rim Drive
  • Features: Overlook of Crater Lake and Phantom Ship, scattered wildflowers, dry meadow. Use caution near steep edges!

Godfrey Glen Nature Trail

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Length: 1 mile loop
  • Elevation: 6,000 to 6,050 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: 2.4 miles south of Park Headquarters
  • Features: Old growth forests, views of Annie Creek Canyon, and occasional wildflowers or animals

Castle Crest Wildflower Garden

  • Time: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Length: 0.4 mile loop from East Rim Drive; 1 mile loop from Park Headquarters
  • Elevation: 6,400 to 6,500 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy, but some uneven ground and rocks
  • Trailhead: On the East Rim Drive, 0.5 miles from Park Headquarters; or, across the road from the Park Headquarters parking lot
  • Features: Small brook, lush vegetation, and spectacular blooms of wildflowers in summer months

Park Headquarters Historic Trail

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Length: 0.3 mile loop
  • Elevation: 6,400 to 6,500 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Behind the Steel Information Center at Park Headquarters
  • Features: Historic buildings and landscapes; forest; Munson Creek
Medium Hikes – (1 – 2 hours)

Watchman Peak Overlook

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Length: 0.7 miles one way
  • Elevation: 7,400 to 8,056 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult, steep
  • Trailhead: Watchman Overlook, 3.7 miles northwest of Rim Village on the West Rim Drive; or, alternately, Lightning Spring Picnic Area
  • Features: Panoramic view, overlook of Wizard Island, historic fire lookout and interpretive exhibits

Cleetwood Cove Trail (lake shore trail)

  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Length: 1.1 miles one way
  • Elevation: 6,850 to 6,176 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous, 11% grade
  • Trailhead: Parking area 4.5 miles east of North Junction
  • Features: Access to lake shore and boat landing

Annie Creek Canyon Trail

  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Length: 1.7 mile loop
  • Elevation: 5,800 to 6,000 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Amphitheater at Mazama Campground
  • Features: Deep stream-cut canyon, Annie Creek, wildflowers, and occasional animals

Discovery Point Trail

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Length: 1.3 miles one way
  • Elevation: 7,050 to 7,150 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: The west end of the Rim Village parking area
  • Features: Views of the lake, site of John Wesley Hillman’s “discovery” of Crater Lake in 1853
Longer Hikes – (2 hours or more)

Garfield Peak Trail

  • Time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Length: 1.7 miles one way
  • Elevation: 7,050 to 8,060 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Trailhead: East of the Crater Lake Lodge, along the caldera rim
  • Features: Panorama of surrounding area, excellent views of Crater Lake, occasional small animals, wildflowers, and an overhead view of Phantom Ship

Mt. Scott Lookout Trail

  • Time: 3 hours
  • Length: 2.5 miles one way
  • Elevation: 7,450 to 8,929 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trailhead: 14 miles east of Park Headquarters, across the East Rim Drive from the road to Cloudcap Overlook
  • Features: Highest point in the park, fire lookout, lake view, and a panoramic view of the east side of the park and Klamath Basin

Crater Peak Trail

  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Length: 3.2 miles one way
  • Elevation: 6,500 to 7,265 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous at beginning and end; otherwise moderate
  • Trailhead: 3 miles east of Park Headquarters at Vidae Falls Picnic Area
  • Features: Forest, panoramic views of the southern part of the park (but no view of the lake), occasional wildlife

Wizard Island Summit Trail

  • Time: 1 hour, not including travel to the island from Cleetwood boat docks
  • Length: 0.9 miles one way
  • Elevation: 6,176 to 6,940 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Wizard Island boat dock
  • Features: Panorama of the inside of the caldera, 90 foot deep crater at the top of the island

 leave-no-trace-logoPlease remember to practice “leave no trace outdoor ethics” when you are out on Crater Lake National Park’s trails…and have fun! Where’s what we have to say as well.

Rules and Regulations
All Trails and Hiking at Crater Lake National Park

With over 100 miles of hiking trails, Crater Lake National Park’s backcountry offers many opportunities for solitude and exploration. Preservation and enjoyment of the backcountry depends on your careful and considerate use.

Trail Time Difficulty Distance Elev. Gain
Anderson Bluff Trail moderate 4.7 miles 43 feet
Annie Creek Canyon Trail 1.25 hours moderate 1.7 mile loop
Annie Spring Cutoff Trail moderate .65 miles
Bald Crater Loop Trail moderate 13.9 mile loop
Bert Creek Trail moderate 1.3 miles 100 feet
Boundary Springs Trail 2.5 hours moderate 2.5 miles 105 feet
Castle Crest Wildflower Garden Trail 30 minutes easy .4 mile loop 100 feet
Cleetwood Cove Trail 1 hour strenuous 1.1 miles 700 feet
Crater Peak Trail 3.5 hours strenuous 2.68 miles 665 feet
Discovery Point Trail 1 hour easy 1.3 miles 100 feet
Dutton Creek Trail moderate 2.5 miles 1,010 feet
Fumarole Bay Trail 1 hour easy .7 miles 35 feet
Garfield Peak Trail 2.5 hours difficult 1.7 miles 1,010 feet
Godfrey Glen Trail 30 minutes easy 1 mile loop 50 feet
Lightning Spring Trail moderate 4 miles 1,240 feet
Mount Scott Trail 3 hours difficult 2.5 miles 1,280 feet
Pacific Crest Trail see the Pacific Trail page
Park Headquarters Historic Trail 30 minutes easy .3 miles 100 feet
Pinnacles Valley Trail 30 minutes easy .6 mile 10 feet
Pumice Flat Trail moderate 2.7 miles 511 feet
Stuart Falls Trail moderate 3.8 miles 1,200 feet
Sun Notch Viewpoint Trail 25 minutes moderate .5 miles 115 feet
Union Peak Trail 5 to 6 hours moderate 2 miles 980 feet
Watchman Peak Trail 1 hour moderate .7 miles 225 feet
Wizard Island Summit Trail 1 hour moderate .9 mile 710 feet

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