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 You are here: Home > Planning a Visit > Activities > Hiking > Watchman Peak Trail
 

Watchman Peak Trail - Crater Lake National Park

<< Union Peak Trail | Trails Home | Wizard Island Summit Trail >>

 

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: .7 mi (1.13 km)

Elevation: 7579 - 7881* ft (2310 - 2402* m)

Trailhead coordinates:

Latitude: N +42 56.68 or 42.94476

Longitude: W -122 10.23 or -122.17052

Altitude: 7579 ft (2310 m)

Highlight: spectacular panoramic views, overlook of Wizard Island, historic fire lookout; great alpine flower trail

  *Watchman Peak summit (Watchman Lookout)

Trail Description

This is one of the best locations for an unobstructed overview of Wizard Island.

The trail begins on an old road (a previous Rim Drive) and travels southwest through an open pumice field for .25 of a mile before leaving the road and turning southeast into the sparsely forested south flank of Watchman Peak. This tree cover is composed of mountain hemlock and some whitebark pines. After a short distance the trail begins to switchback until it reaches the peak of the Watchman.

Some alpine flowers to look for: Davidson's Penstemon, western pasqueflower, sticky cinquefoil, Newberry's fleeceflower, sulphur flower, heartleaf arnica, alpine bittercress, spreading phlox, and alpine pussytoes.

Trailhead location: Located adjacent the east side of the Rim Drive, 3.8 miles (6.1 km) northwest of Rim Village. Park at the Corrals viewpoint surrounded by wooded fences.

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.

Historic Note: Built in 1932, the peak's historic fire lookout is still staffed by rangers during the fire season.

 


View Watchman peak trail in a larger map

(1) Trailhead parking - Corrals viewpoint

(2) Trailhead

(3) Watchman Peak fire lookout

 

Watchman Peak Trail Elevation Profile

 

Related Maps

Digital USGS topographic maps (PDF files) - the following maps are relevant to the Watchman Peak 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 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)

 

Sunset from the Watchman Peak fire lookout, facing west, Crater Lake National Park, photo by Robert Mutch

 

Pasqueflower, near Watchman Peak trailhead, Crater Lake National Park, 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!

 

 

 

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Current Conditions at Crater Lake National Park

(Image by Grovin Thewer)

 

Crater Lake Webcam

 

Books we recommend: This book gives a great account of what wild flowers to expect for the entire Watchman Peak Trail; Oregon's Best Wildflower Hikes: Southwest Region (at Amazon.com)