National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory: The Watchman, Crater Lake National Park, 2001
Analysis And Evaluation
The siting and design of the Watchman cultural landscape incorporates spatial organization. Watchman Observation Station and Watchman Trail were developed during the period of significance on Watchman Peak (8013’) to access its summit and highlight views of Crater Lake, Wizard Island, and the surrounding region.
Although a number of other peaks at Crater Lake provided spectacular views, Watchman Peak was an obvious choice for a proposed trail and structure because of its easy accessibility (Superintendent Report, 1930). Not only was Rim Drive conveniently located at the base of Watchman Peak, the slope up the peak could be aligned on its west side at a favorable 15% grade. Watchman Peak’s andesite summit provided an area for the observation station to be built upon so park personnel could utilize the observation station as a fire watch and as an interpretive wayside for park visitors. Watchman Trail is a single, linear trail which ascends through switchbacks to a terminus at the top of Watchman Peak, linking Watchman Observation Station to Rim Drive located at the base of Watchman Peak.
Today, the original spatial organization at Watchman Peak remains evident, and continues to contribute to the historic character of Watchman Observation Station and Watchman Trail.