Wizard Island Summit Trail

Wizard Island Summit Trail – Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Institute partners with REI’s Hiking Project app and website which features 3-D maps, user photos, current conditions and trail descriptions. If you go to them for information, please come back.

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: moderate

Length: .9 mi (1.45 km) roundtrip

Elevation: 6175* – 6873† ft (1882* – 2095† m)

Trailhead coordinates:

Latitude: N +42° 56.06 or 42.93436

Longitude: W -122° 09.02 or -122.15045

Altitude: 6175* ft (1882* m)

Highlight: spectacular lake views, interesting geology (summit crater)

* Wizard Island boat dock   † Wizard Island summit

Trail Description


Wizard Island crater from the Watchman, Photo by Robert Mutch

This trail is a rocky climb to the top of Wizard Island with a path leading around the 90-foot-deep (27-meter) crater summit. Visitors who want to hike on Wizard Island must first descend to the lakeshore via Cleetwood Cove Trail. This is a steep descent and the most difficult portion of this trek will be at the end of the day when you must ascend the 11% grade to Rim Drive. The trek to Wizard Island’s summit is a full day trip.

The commercial tour boat will take visitors to the Wizard Island boat dock where the trail to the summit begins. The boat will pick you up later that same day as overnight stays on the island are not allowed. The tread ascends northeastward from the dock steadily at first. A short distance from the trailhead the terrain steepens and switchbacks lead hikers to the 6,940-foot summit of Wizard Island.

The buildings on the south shore of Wizard Island house the tour boats during the off-season and serve as home port for the National Park Service research vessel Neuston.

Trailhead location: Wizard Island dock, accessible via boat tour from Cleetwood Cove.

Seasonal Information: Expect the trail to be covered in snow from October to early 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.


Mammals on Wizard Island, Nature Notes From Crater Lake, 1937

Wizard Island, An Index to the Past?, Nature Notes From Crater Lake, 1954

The Pools of Wizard Island, Nature Notes From Crater Lake, 1933

Flora:  Of the six tree species (all conifers), on Wizard Island, the Western Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) predominates on the lower half of the island while the timberline White Bark Pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) has the same predominance at the summit of the cone, where it characteristically encircles the crested rim of the Wizard crater. Within the crater, and especially at its bottom, where soil and moisture conditions are of the most favorable for their growth and maintenance, are to be found some of the more shallow rooted forms, such as grasses, sedges, rushes and Tolmie’s Saxifrage (Saxifraga tolmiei). [The Flora of Wizard Island, Nature Notes From Crater Lake, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1934]


Wizard Island Summit Trail Elevation Profile


Related Maps

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

Series Name Year Scale Contour Interval File
USGS 7.5′ Crater Lake West 1985 1:24,000 40 ft usgs-crater-lake-west-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



Wizard Island, the landing boat docks are at the bottom of the photo and the trail to the summit moves upward, Photo by Robert Mutch




Sunset, Wizard Island, facing northwest, from Garfield Peak trail, Llao Rock in background, 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!

<< previousnext >>