Resources 1984 – IX. Trails and Campgrounds of Crater Lake National Park C. Castle Crest and Lake Circle Trails

Historic Resource Study, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1984

IX. Trails and Campgrounds of Crater Lake National Park


C. Castle Crest and Lake Circle Trails

One early excursion mentioned was a climb up Castle Crest, affording fine views in several directions. Another was a circuit of the lake starting at the campground near Eagle Cove. This route followed no road or trail, but camping sites were available, as described by J.S. Diller of the Geological Survey:

Camp 2, on the west fork of Sand Creek, is a good one with plenty of water and pasture. It is somewhat difficult crossing the canyon of Sun Creek, especially on the west side. It must be crossed just above the end of the small fork. The map indicates approximately the line followed by my pack-train; but there is no trail to mark the way. Camp 3 has many attractions besides the good pasture, fine water, flowers and firs. The great cliffs to the westward are inspiring, and the rustling of the numerous little cascades gives a life to the inclosed camp that is not to be found elsewhere about the Lake. I did not notice any good camping place in Sun Creek Canyon.

The ascent of the east side of Sand Creek Canyon is steep and somewhat difficult, but we got up all right; then we followed the crest to Camp 4, where there is some pasture and snow-water. Beneath the large cliffs below the camps we got water for the animals. To the northeastward about three miles, in the line of the canyon heading over Red Cloud Cliff, we found a large spring and stream not noted on the original map. It is the south fork of Bear Creek, and has a fine cascade a short distance below the spring. There is plenty of water and considerable pasture there, but on the whole it is not as inviting a place to camp as at Camp 4, near the rim of the Lake.

At the foot of Red Cone there is a good camp, Camp 5, near the spring afforded by the melting snow. At many points along the lower slope of the western rim of the Lake there are fine camps, plenty of grass, wood and water; but the sheep have run over it and will soon ruin it unless protected. The trail on the map is not an easy one. For an easy passage between Camps 5 and 6, it is best to keep well down, so as to get below the big cliffs. [16]

It was stated that this trip could be accomplished in four days: first night at Camp 3; second day climbing Mount Scott–not a difficult trail–and spending the night at Camp 4; third day ascending Llao Rock and staying at Camp 5; the fourth day climbing Red Cone–an easy ascent–and returning to the starting point after climbing Glacier Peak and The Watchman. In 1907 Superintendent Arant mentioned that there were only three trails in the reserve, one leading from the rim to the lake, which was in very bad shape, one along the rim of the caldera, and one leading to Bybee Creek. [17]


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