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Pacific Crest Trail - Crater Lake National Park
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Pacific Crest Trail coordinates (where trail enters park)

  Latitude: N 42 48.08 or 42.80149

  Longitude: W 122 10.55 or -122.17583

  Altitude: 6352 ft (1936 m)

Pacific Crest Trail marker on an old Whitebark pine, west rim, Crater Lake National Park, Photo by Robert Mutch

Thirty-three miles of the Pacific Crest Trail passes through Crater Lake National Park. The Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail was previously known as the Skyline trail. Today this 400 mile stretch from Mount Hood to Crater Lake is the oldest section of the Pacific Crest Trail. First proposed in the 1920s, but it was not until 1972 that all 2,638 miles of the trail were completed and hiked the first time.

Backcountry permit: Hikers who wish to stay overnight in Crater Lake National Park must get a backcountry permit. Permits may be obtained at the Rim Visitor Center in Rim Village, or at the Steel Information Center in the Park Headquarters area. PCT through-hikers may sign the trail register as they enter Crater Lake National Park. Through-hikers who have signed the trail register do not need to obtain a backcountry permit.

Alternate Trail: In June 1995, an alternate trail opened which brings hikers right up to the rim of Crater Lake. Coming from the south, the trail ascends the Dutton Creek trail to the rim, then follows the edge of the caldera for six miles with spectacular views. It then parallels the road from North Junction to Grouse Hill and rejoins the PCT.


Digital topographic USGS maps for Crater Lake National Park

Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA)

Regulations - No pets are permitted in the backcountry of Crater Lake National Park, including along the PCT. Although information distributed by the Pacific Crest Trail Conference may state that pets are allowed on all segments of the PCT, pets are not allowed on any section of the trail in Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite, or Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks.


Camping: To reduce impact on the park's natural resources, camp at one of the park's designated camp sites: Grouse Hill, Red Cone, Lightning Springs or Dutton Creek. No camping is permitted on the alternate trail along the caldera rim. Camp sites are located at either end of the alternate trail at Dutton Creek and Grouse Hill.

Showers and Supplies - For those in need of showers or supplies, there is a fee campground and camper store at Mazama Village in the southern part of the park. It can be reached from the PCT by taking the Annie Springs cutoff below Dutton Creek.

Postal Services - Mail can be sent to the Mazama Village Store at Mazama Campground, or to the Crater Lake Post Office at Park Headquarters. At the post office, mail will be kept only for 30 days. If you cannot arrive in time to pick up your mail, let the post office know by calling (541) 594-3115. Mail cannot be picked up on Sundays or after 3:00 pm. Do not mail perishables. Liquid stove fuel may not be sent through U.S. Mail. Packages may not exceed 108 inches in length and girth or weigh more than 70 pounds each. All PCT hiker boxes must have a return address.

Send mail or supplies to:

Your Name, PCT Hiker
Mazama Village Store
(USPS:) P.O. Box 158
(UPS:) 700 Mazama Village Dr.
Crater Lake, OR 97604
Expected arrival date


Your Name, PCT Hiker
General Delivery
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake, OR 97604
Expected arrival date

You are welcome to mail non-perishable items from the Crater Lake post office to a future drop-off point. On the mailing label, write:

Your Name
General Delivery
Post Office
City, State ZIP

Day Hiking on the PCT - Short sections of the PCT may be completed within the park as day hikes. None are loop trails, so hikers must backtrack to their vehicles. A long day hike is possible, but to do this, hikers need to have two vehicles. The PCT crosses Highway 62 south and west of the Annie Springs Entrance. It crosses the North Entrance Road in the Pumice Desert area. The total day hike covers 18 miles.


Distances between points in the park:  
Highway 62 to Dutton Creek Trail Junction 2.1 miles
Dutton Creek Junction to Lightning Springs Junction 4.2 miles
Lightning Springs Junction to Crater Springs Junction 6.8 miles
Crater Springs Junction to Boundary Springs Junction 1.6 miles
Boundary Springs Junction to North Entrance Road 3.2 miles
Average hiking time, Hwy 62 to North Entrance Road 7 hours

Water Sources - Water is scarce in Crater Lake's backcountry. In a typical year, many sources are dry by late July or early August. Hikers should carry at least one gallon of water per person. Possible water sources include Red Cone Springs, Lightning Springs, and major branches of Dutton, Trapper, Bybee, North Copeland, and South Copeland Creeks.


PCT aerial view




Related Maps

Digital USGS topographic maps (PDF files) - the following maps are relevant to the Pacific Crest trail. See more Crater Lake Institute online USGS digital maps.

Series Name Year Scale Contour Interval File Size
USGS 7.5' Crater Lake West 1985 1:24,000 40 ft 4790 KB (4.68 mb)
USGS 7.5' Pumice Desert East 1985 1:24,000 40 ft 3953 KB (3.86 mb)
USGS 7.5' Pumice Desert West 1985 1:24,000 40 ft 3926 KB (3.83 mb)
USGS 7.5' Union Peak 1985 1:24,000 40 ft 4898 KB (4.78 mb)
USGS 30' x 60' Crater Lake 1989 1:100,000 50 m 11359 KB (11.1 mb)
USGS 30' x 60' Diamond Lake 1978 1:100,000 50 m 11606 KB (11.33 mb)
USGS 1 x 2 Klamath Falls 1970 1:250,000 200 ft 8463 KB (8.27 mb)
USGS 1 x 2 Medford 1976 1:250,000 200 ft 9630 KB (9.4 mb)
USGS 1 x 2 Roseburg 1970 1:250,000 200 ft 10053 KB (9.82 mb)






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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Current Conditions at Crater Lake National Park

(Image by Grovin Thewer)


Crater Lake Rim Webcam