Hiking Trails

All the front country hiking trails are listed below. Most of these trails, especially those with high elevation, are snow and ice covered December into June. During those months the trails are not marked and thus not available for winter or spring hiking.

MAP
A printable version of some trail descriptions and a map are available in Reflections, the summer park newspaper pages 4 and 5.

PERMIT

Longer trails may require an overnite in the backcountry with a permit.
 
Two hikers on a dirt trail that parallels a stream edged by wildflowers and a frorest
Annie Creek Trail transcends into a canyon carved by a river that is now surrounded by wildflower meadows and forest.

NPS Photo

Forest and Meadow Hiking Trails

  • With Rim Drive closed for the season, some trails are listed as Closed. Most others will be snow covered but are open.
  • All trails begin above 4,000 feet in elevation.
  • Easy trails (under two miles or brief elevation gain) are noted in a green color.
  • Other difficulty levels are not labeled. Consider your health, the elevation gain, and distance when choosing a trail.
  • Accessible trails are in itaics.
  • Pet friendly trails are noted in bold in the description.
Trail
Description of Hike Trailhead Location Round Trip
Distance
Elevation Gain
Boundary Springs Moderate hike to a large spring which is the headwaters of the Rogue River. A wildfire in 2015 burned an area which attracts woodpeckers. In season, wildflowers are abundant. Trail begins outside the park on Hwy 230 at a pullout near milepost 19, 5 miles west of hwy 138 5.0 miles
8.0 km
400 ft
122 m
Closed
Plaikni Falls
An easy stroll through a forest to a waterfall fed by snowmelt. Enjoy a plethora of wildflowers. When the trail bends to the right, listen for picas, marmots, and songbirds. Accessible to all-terrain wheelchairs except for the last 1/4. Turn onto Pinnacles Road from East Rim Drive near the Phantom Ship Overlook. Drive 1.2 miles (1.9 km). Limited parking at trailhead on the left. 2.0 miles
3.2 km
100 ft
30 m
Closed
The Pinnacles
Easy forest walk above a canyon filled with volcanic spires (pinnacles), hot ash filled the valley and gases escaped causing surrounding material to harden and resist erosion. Accessible to all-terrain wheelchairs. Turn onto Pinnacles Road from East Rim Drive near the Phantom Ship Overlook. Drive 6 miles (9.7 km) to the end of the road. 0.8 miles
1.3 km
10 ft
3 m
Closed
Crater Peak
Moderate to strenuous hike through forests and waving grasslands to the wildflower summit of a volcano. Surround views of the Klamath Basin, Union Peak and other vistas. 3 miles (4.8 km) east of park headquarters, turn into the Vidae Falls Picnic Area. Park in first three parking spaces on the right in front of the trailhead sign. 6.5 miles
10.5 km
765 ft
233 m
Closed
Grayback Road
Mostly through forest, with scenic views, creeks and wildflowers. Except for the width, not much remains of this section of the historic Rim Road. Great for birding, photography, solitude. Pet friendly and the only trail for mountain biking. Park at Vidae Falls Picnic Area. Road begins on the opposite side of the road from Crater Peak Trailhead. A closure bar indicates the start. 8.o miles
12.8 km
Castle Crest At 6300 feet in elevation and 2,000 feet below Castle Crest Ridge, the trail loops around a spring-fed meadow which hosts over 200 wildflower species, is surrounded by a mixed forest, shrubs, and grasses. Self-guiding brochures available at the trailhead. The official parking area and trailhead is located on East Rim Drive, 0.25 mile east of park headquarters. A second entrance to the trail is across the road from park headquarters at the three=way stop. This adds another 0.25 miles through the forest. 0.5 miles
0.8 km
100 ft
30
Lady of the Woods Nature loop with a self-guiding brochure at trailhead behind Steel Visitor Center, Lady of the Woods stone sculpture, historic structures, pet friendly. Trailhead is behind Steel Visitor Center but while it is under construction, follow the fence to the left and continue to the Ranger Station for trail access. 0.7 miles
1.1 km
120 ft
37 m
Pumice Flat Shady for the first 1/2 mile, straight though pumice flats, exposure to burned trees, wildflowers and pollinators. A gentle incline with grassy meadows. Great habitats for bird diversity. Park in the Lodgepole Picnic Area and look for the trail sign. Caution, the trail crosses Hwy 62. 5.5 miles
8.9 km
470 ft
143 m
Pacific Crest Trail Approximately 33 miles between the north and south access points in the park. Expect patchy snow through June, and extreme changes in elevation. Entire trail stretches 2,650 miles (4,265 km), from Mexico to Canada. Pet friendly. There are three trailheads: On Hwy 62 about one mile west of the park entrance station, on North Entrance Road, and for southbound entry into the park on Hwy 138. see description 1226 ft
374 m
Union Peak It is the longest maintained park trail and one of the most diverse trail terrains, includes forests, pumice meadows, and rocky inclines. Strenuous finale with 360 summit views. Hwy 62 at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Trailhead, One mile (1.6 km) west from the seven-mile Crater Lake junction and entrance station. 9.8 miles
15.8 km
1600 ft
448 m
Annie Creek
A moderate loop trail with a steep decline and return across switchbacks. The upper stretch behind the campground and the stream side stroll below in the canyon are both flat. Wildflowers, pollinators, look for American Dippers flying above the creek. NO PETS Park in the Mazama Store parking lot and walk through the campground to the amphitheater located between loops D and E. The trail begins at the back of the amphitheater. 1.7 miles
2.7 km
200 ft
61 m
Godfrey Glen An old trail with a new accessibility surface. Brochure at trailhead is a guide through an old growth forest above a canyon with pinnacles. Recommended for all terrain wheelchairs with assistance. Pet friendly. 2.4 miles (3.9 km) south of park headquarters or 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Mazama Campground and the entrance station on Munson Valley Road. 1.1 miles
1.8 km
50 ft
15 m
Annie Spur Trail A pet friendly connector trail between the PCT and Mazama Village and Campground.
Dutton Creek (to junction with PCT) Trail descends 2.3 miles through the woods, across Dutton Creek to meadows. Turn around at the PCT. Plan ahead for a 12.9 mile loop go right on the PCT to Lightning Springs then return via Rim/Discover Trails. Trailhead is just below the junction of West Rim Drive and Rim Village. Park in the adjacent pullout, or in Rim Village and walk to the trailhead. 4.6 miles
7.4 km
1,004 ft
306 m
Closed
Lightning Spring
(to junction with PCT) Moderately challenging, descends 4.2 miles through the forest to the PCT junction. At 0.8 miles a spring and creek emerge from the dry slope. There are some burned areas. No overnight camping without a permit. Trailhead is on the left about 2.5 miles on West Rim Drive from Rim Village. Park in the pullout across from the Lightning Spring Picnic Area. . 8.4 miles
13.5 m
1298 ft
396 m
Closed
Red Cone
Trail is part of the PCT. It passes north of Red Cone but there is no trail to Red Cone or its summit. This is a very exposed burned area that is relatively flat. Turn back at the Bald Crater Loop Trail. On North Entrance Road at the PCT parking lot. 7.2 miles
11.6 km


 

Trails With Lake Views

Most of these trails begin around the rim at 7100 feet in elevation. Again know your health, check the trail length, and be aware of the rise in elevation.
Trail Description of Hike Trailhead Location Round Trip Distance Elevation Gain
Discovery Point An easy trail with some steep rises along the west rim of the lake through an old growth wind-shaped forest. The Rim Trail begins where Discovery Point Trail ends. West end of Rim Village where the paved walk becomes a dirt path or park at Discovery Point Overlook and walk right to Rim Village. 2 miles
3.2 km
100 feet
30 meters
Watchman Peak An extremely crowded trail especially at sunset. Moderate ascent to a fire lookout. 360 degree views across the lake and surrounding landscape. Park at Watchman overlook 3.8 miles (6.1 km) northwest of Rim Village on West Rim Drive 1.6 miles
2.6 km
420 feet
128 meters
Rim Trail An out and back trail paralleling West Rim Drive and the caldera rim to the junction with East Rim Drive. Here it leaves the rim and continues north to the junction with the PCT. Whitebark pines, pumice fields, wildflowers, and changing geology. Often snow covered into early July. One mile from Rim Village on West Rim Drive is a large pullout where the Discovery Point Trail ends. Facing the lake, Rim Trail begins uphill to the left.
Closed
Cleetwood Cove
Cleetwood Cove - Crater Lake National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) 11 miles (17.6 km) clockwise from Rim Village 2.2 miles
3.5 km
700 ft
213 meters
Closed
Mount Scott
The park's highest peak at 8,929 ft (2,721 m) and the oldest at 425,000 years old. The only view of the entire lake from within the park. Walk through geologic time. See white bark pines. On East Rim Drive 14 miles (22.5 km) east of park headquarters. 4.4 miles
7.1 km
1250 feet
381 meters
Closed
Sun Notch
Walk uphill around a grassy meadow surrounded by forest and geologic features of Mount Mazama. A view of the lake including a Phantom Ship is seen from the rim. On East Rim Drive, 4.4 miles (7.1 km) from park headquarters 0.8 miles
1.3 km
150 feet
46 meters
Garfield Peak Trail begins in the trees but quickly opens to a meadow. Switchbacks weave views of the lake and valleys, craggy peaks and scree slopes. Observe wildflowers, pica, and marmots. East end of Rim Village, follow the paved promenade behind Crater Lake Lodge to the trailhead sign. 3.6 miles
5.8 km
1010 feet
308 meters

Last updated: October 25, 2022

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PO Box 7

Crater Lake , OR 97604

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541 594-3000

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