Lloyd Smith Photo, 1968 rental rowboats, the Minn and Sparrow

Cleatwood Cove Trail

Cleetwood Cove Trail – Crater Lake National Park


Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Strenuous

Length: 1.1 mi (1.77 km)

Elevation: 6175* – 6831 ft (1882* – 2082 m)

Trailhead coordinates:

Latitude: N +42° 58.78 or 42.934217

Longitude: W -122° 04.99 or -122.08320

Altitude: 6831 ft (2082 m)

Highlight: swimming, fishing, boat tours; Access to lake shore and boat landing

  *boat landing

REI Trails Project  partners with Crater Lake Institute to produce their trails app. Click the map below, get the app – then come back, we offer more.  All trails are  here.

Trail Description


How Deep is Crater Lake…Really? by Owen F. Hoffman

Crater Lake Clarity: It doesn’t get any better than this, by Scott F. Girdner

Crater Lake…Unique?, Nature Notes From Crater Lake, 1993

The only legal access to the shore of Crater Lake, this is a strenuous and steep switchback trail with a steep grade (11%). The trail descends to a rocky shoreline at Cleetwood Cove where concessionaire tour boats will take you around the lake or drop you off at Wizard Island. The trail is recommended only for those in good physical condition. It should not be attempted by anyone with heart, breathing, or walking problems. It is not accessible for people with mobility impairments. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and carry water. Vault toilets are located at the top and bottom of the trail.

The trail leading to Cleetwood Cove begins along East Rim Drive approximately four and a half miles east of North Junction. The route begins on the right side of Rim Drive at an elevation 6,850 feet.

Trailhead location: North side of the lake, 11 miles (17.6 km) from Rim Village if traveling clockwise on Rim Drive. Parking area 4.5 miles east of North Junction

Seasonal Information: Expect the trail to be covered in snow from October to July, however, conditions vary somewhat from year to year. See Crater Lake Current Conditions for more information. The “volcano boat cruising” season typically begins late June/early July and ends late September/early October. See Crater Lake Lodges volcano boat cruise information.

Nature Note: Below 200 feet (61 meters), the water in Crater Lake stays 38 degrees F (3 degrees Celsius) year-round.

Historical Note: the Cleetwood Cove Trail first opened during the summer of 1960.


View Untitled in a larger map


Cleetwood Cove Trail Elevation Profile



Related Maps

Digital USGS topographic maps (PDF files) – the following maps are relevant to the Cleetwood Cove trail. See more Crater Lake Institute online USGS digital maps.

Series Name Year Scale Contour Interval File Size
USGS 7.5′ Crater Lake East 1985 1:24,000 40 ft usgs-crater-lake-east-7.5
USGS 30′ x 60′ Crater Lake 1989 1:100,000 50 m usgs-crater-lake-30-minute
USGS 30′ x 60′ Diamond Lake 1978 1:100,000 50 m usgs-diamond-lake-30-minute
USGS 1° x 2° Klamath Falls 1970 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-klamath-falls-1-2
USGS 1° x 2° Medford 1976 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-medford-1-2
USGS 1° x 2° Roseburg 1970 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-roseburg-1-2


The 30-year old Cleetwood Cove boat landing, looking south towards Sun Notch. The new dock, built in 2014 for a cost of over a $1,000,000 lasted one season before its foundation cracked.  Photo by Robert Mutch


Rustic bench at the Cleetwood Cove boat landing, looking southwest towards Wizard Island, Watchman Peak, and Hillman Peak, Photo by Robert Mutch



Please remember to practice “leave no trace outdoor ethics” when you are out on Crater Lake National Park’s trails…and have fun!


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