Resources 1984 – IX. Trails and Campgrounds of Crater Lake National Park B. Wizard Island Trails

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

 IX. Trails and Campgrounds of Crater Lake National Park


B. Wizard Island Trails

It was noted early that one could best see the lake’s reflections and best appreciate the height of the surrounding rim from Wizard Island, and it was only natural, therefore, that a trail should be forged to its summit. In 1897 the trip from the boat landing at Eagle Cove over to the island was about two miles distance. The ascent of 845 feet could be made in half to three-quarters of an hour on a well-beaten spiral path through the pumice. [13] In 1903 Superintendent Arant was recommending that a register in a waterproof metal case be placed on Wizard Island for use by hikers. [14]

In July 1931 a boat trip under the guidance of ranger-naturalists, described as “the only one of its kind in the world,” [15] was initiated in Crater Lake National Park. The trips permitted an entire day on the lake, including exploration of Wizard Island and a visit to the Devils Backbone and Phantom Ship. One group left with a ranger for Wizard Island in the morning, ascended the cinder cone, and descended into its crater. In the afternoon other visitors making the crater wall trail trip took a boat over to Wizard Island and joined the earlier party in exploring the island and lake. Afternoon trips on the water were provided daily, with a ranger-naturalist explaining the natural phenomena of the crater walls and the lake. In 1934 the construction of a new trail to the summit of Wizard Island was approved, located almost entirely through the wooded area on the south side of the island. The original idea was to obliterate the narrow spiral trail through loose cinders formally constructed a few years earlier, about 1929, as an adjunct to the park’s educational program. But the park naturalists protested this action, desiring that the trail be left because it provided more intimate contact with the geological formations on the island. Parties of visitors could be taken to the summit on one trail and return by the other, thus gaining a thorough view of island features.

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