Dutton Creek Trail

Dutton Creek Trail – Crater Lake National Park

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 2.5 mi (4.0 km)

Elevation: 6109* – 7123 ft (1862* – 2171 m)

Trailhead coordinates:Latitude: N +42° 54.71 or 42.91191

Longitude: W -122° 08.03 or -122.14720

Altitude: 7123 ft (2171 m)

Highlight: old mountain hemlock forest, high-elevation mountain stream

  *Dutton Creek Campground

REI Trails Project  partners with Crater Lake Institute to produce their trails app. Click the map below, get the app – then come back, we offer more.

Trail Description

The Dutton Creek Trail is also now the beginning portion of the new alternative Pacific Crest Trail. This trail runs northeast to southwest (top to bottom) on the opposite side of the Munson Ridge from the main Munson Valley entrance corridor to Crater Lake.

The first few hundred meters of the trail run from the Munson Valley road/West Rim Drive Junction at the west end of the Rim Village downward between the Munson Valley road and the beginning of the Dutton Creek drainage.

The trail is a steady descent along Dutton Creek with some stream crossings in the first mile. The first 1.25 miles is the steepest portion. After this the trail becomes less steep with a few, nearly flat, portions. About 1.25 miles from the trailhead, there is a small tributary to Dutton Creek where you will find a camping area. After this camping area is a more steady descent for another mile. The trail reaches the Pacific Crest Trail in a wet and flat area 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Just south of this junction is a second backcountry camping area.

Trailhead location: Directions from Annie Spring Entrance Station: Drive northward into the park 4 miles to Rim Drive. Turn left on to West Rim Drive and travel 2 miles to Rim Village Road. Turn right and drive a short distance to the trailhead. The Dutton Creek Trail can be accessed via the Discovery Point Trail. From the junction of Rim Village Road and West Rim Drive the trail leads southwestward on the opposite side of Rim Drive from the Discovery Point Trail.

Nature Note: The trail’s upper section is composed primarily of an old mountain hemlock forest and near the bottom a more open stand of lodgepole pine comes to dominate. Intermixed, in the bottom section of the trail, are some open grassy meadows.

Historic Note: This trail is named for Captain Clarence E. Dutton who was the chief of the United States Geological Survey group that first took soundings of Crater Lake’s depth in 1886. Also, this trail was originally an old wagon trail used by the park’s first visitors to reach the rim of Crater Lake.

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.



Dutton Creek Trail Elevation Profile


 Related Maps

Digital USGS topographic maps (PDF files) – the following maps are relevant to the Dutton Creek trail. See more

Series Name Year Scale Contour Interval File Size
USGS 7.5′ Crater Lake West 1985 1:24,000 40 ft usgs-crater-lake-west-7.5
USGS 30′ x 60′ Crater Lake 1989 1:100,000 50 m usgs-crater-lake-30-minute
USGS 30′ x 60′ Diamond Lake 1978 1:100,000 50 m usgs-diamond-lake-30-minute
USGS 1° x 2° Klamath Falls 1970 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-klamath-falls-1-2
USGS 1° x 2° Medford 1976 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-medford-1-2
USGS 1° x 2° Roseburg 1970 1:250,000 200 ft usgs-roseburg-1-2



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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