Fall Classroom at Crater Lake Field Trip Options

Choose three activities or one guided-hike for your classes (include 5-10 minutes of transition time between each activity). Please understand that we may not be able to provide the exact activities requested due to limited staff, materials, time, and space. If we can’t fulfill your exact request, we’ll offer an exciting alternative.

Activities for elementary students
  • Wildlife Watch (45 min) Students use binoculars and field guides to observe, identify, and record wildlife and other features of the park environment.
  • Hemlock Forest Discovery Hike (45 min) Students use authentic tools to investigate enormous fallen trees and explore an old-growth forest to learn about how organisms adapt to a harsh climate.
  • The Pika Challenge (45 min) Students use imagination and the landscape to become pika challenged with survival in a changing climate.

Activities for all grade levels
  • Sinnott Memorial Overlook and Museum (45 min) Students engage with a ranger talk, panoramic vistas, a relief model of Crater Lake, and a science museum to discover the geologic history of Crater Lake National Park.
  • Art on the Rim (45 min) Students use watercolors to hone their observation skills and develop their creative minds while discovering the role the arts have historically played at Crater Lake and other national parks.
  • Tree Identification (45 min) Students use field guides and their observational skills to take a closer look at the trees around them and discover what characteristics help define each species.
  • Map & Compass Orienteering (60 min) Students use trainer compasses and a map to actively navigate through an orienteering course without the help of modern technology. They learn about forest succession while using important traditional technology!
  • GPS Orienteering (60 min) Students use GPS units to actively navigate through an orienteering course. They learn about forest succession while using important modern technology!

Activities for middle and high schoolers
  • Map & Compass Survey (60 min) Students use professional-grade topographic maps and compasses to learn how to identify landmarks and find one’s location while stationed on the rim of Crater Lake.


Guided hikes
Students hike a park trail with a ranger and make stops along the way to discuss different features of the landscape and ecosystem. All hikes include sections of trail on or very near cliff faces and steep slopes. All roads and trails may be subject to closure due to wildfire or snow, if your scheduled hike isn't possible, we'll offer an exciting alternative.

Hikes for schools bringing just one class
  • Cleetwood Cove Guided Hike (2.5 hours) *This hike can only be scheduled for groups with one class, and cannot be combined with other activities. Strenuous, 2.2 miles round trip, 700 feet elevation gain. A steep hike to the water’s deep blue edge.
  • Garfield Peak Guided Hike (2.5 hours) *This hike can only be scheduled for groups with one class, and cannot be combined with other activities. Strenuous, 3.4 miles round trip, 1,000 feet elevation gain. Hike to a high peak along a trail with cliff edges and amazing views of Crater Lake.
  • ***NEW*** Discovery Pont Guided Hike (2.0 hours) *This hike can only be scheduled for groups with one class, but can be combined with another activity. Moderate, 2.0 miles round trip, 100 feet elevation gain. Hike along the caldera rim from Rim Village to Discovery Point.

Hikes for schools bring 1 or 2 classes
  • The Watchman Guided Hike (1.5 hours) *This hike can only be scheduled for groups with one or two classes, and can only be combined with Map & Compass Survey or Art on the Rim. Moderate, 1.4 miles round trip, 400 feet elevation gain. Hike to a fire tower with amazing views of Crater Lake, Wizard Island, and the High Cascades.
  • ***NEW*** Sun Notch and Crater Peak Trail Guided Hike (2.5 hours) *This hike can only be scheduled for groups with one or two classes. Moderate, 2.0 miles round trip, 250 feet elevation gain. Hike the Sun Notch trail (with amazing views of Crater Lake, Wizard Island, and Phantom Ship), and then take a short bus ride to hike the Crater Peak Trail to explore old-growth forest and the Sun Creek watershed. This trail combination requires the use of a school bus as a shuttle between trails.

We currently don't offer any guided hikes to schools bringing more than 2 classes on the same day.

Last updated: May 22, 2018