Best Trails 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.

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