Crater Lake Hiking Trails
On a Klamath Vacation

Crater Lake and Wizard Island

There are 90 miles of Crater Lake hiking trails at Crater Lake National Park. Some of the most popular day hikes are listed on this page. Each of the trails tell the trail name, the trail description, the total distance, the elevation gain, the time to walk the trail, the trailhead location, and the trail rating. If you plan to visit in June or July you'll need to be aware that some of these trails may be closed due to snow.

Crater Lake Hiking Rules

  • No hiking or climbing inside the caldera. The walls are dangerously steep and unstable. The one exception is the Cleetwood Cove Trail. It is the only legal access to the lake.
  • Overnight backpacking requires a permit. Free permits are available at either visitor center or at the ranger station at Park Headquarters. Some areas are not open to backcountry camping.
  • Leave all rocks, plants, animals, and artifacts undisturbed for the enjoyment of future hikers.
  • To protect vegetation and prevent erosion, please stay on the trails.
  • Pets are not allowed on part trails.

    Crater Lake Hiking Trails

    Pinnacles Trail: Easy walk along the rim of Pinnacle Valley. Great views of volcanic spires. Use caution near cliffs. Trail ends at park boundary. Accessible to wheelchairs with assistance. Also open to bicycles.

    Godfrey Glen: Easy stroll through an old-growth forest, with some canyon views. Dirt path, accessible to wheelchairs with assistance. Self-guiding brochures are available at the trailhead.

    Castle Crest: Loop trail through a beautiful meadow. Abundant wild-flowers from mid-July to mid-August. The trail is rocky and slippery in places. Self-guiding brochures are available at the trailhead.

    Lady of the Woods: Loop trail around Park Headquarters. Self-guiding brochures are available at the trailhead describe how early park architects integrated their designs with the natural landscape.

    Sun Notch: Short uphill walk through a meadow to the rim of Crater Lake. Walk along the rim path for great views of the Phantom Ship. Use caution near cliff edges.

    Discovery Point: Easy to moderate trail along the rim of Crater Lake connecting Rim Village with Discovery Point. Fine view of the lake and Wizard Island. Use caution near cliff edges.

    Annie Creek: Moderately strenuous trail through a deep stream-cut canyon. Lot of water, wildflowers, and sometimes wildlife. Self-guiding brochures are available at the trailhead.

    Boundary Springs: Moderate walk to the headwaters of the Rogue River in the northwest corner of the park. May not be well-marked. See published guidebooks for trail details.

    Watchman Peak: Moderate ascent to a lookout above Wizard Island. Spectacular views in all directions. Great place to watch a sunset. Trail may be closed until late July due to snow.

    Crater Peak: Moderately strenuous walk to the summit of a small volcano. No lake views, but fine views of the Klamath Basin to the southeast. A peaceful walk through forests and meadows.

    Garfield Peak: Rocky climb to a high peak. Spectacular views along the way and at the top. Diverse plant life, many wildflowers. Top section may be closed until mid-July due to snow. Use caution near cliff edges.

    Mount Scott: Gradual ascent to the park's highest peak. Great views in all directions. Best in morning, when the light is ideal for lake viewing. May be closed until mid-July due to snow.

    Union Peak: Long forest walk followed by a very steep climb. Spectacular views from the top and interesting geology, but no view of the lake. Top section may be impassable until mid-July due to snow.

    Cleetwood Cove Dock

    Cleetwood Cove: The only legal access to the shore of Crater Lake. Strenuous trail with a steep grade. The trail descends to a rocky shoreline at Cleetwood Cove.

    Wizard Summit: Rocky climb to the top of Wizard Island. Spectacular lake views and interesting geology. A path leads around the 90 foot deep crater at the summit.

    Fumarole Bay: Rocky trail along the shore of Wizard Island. Becomes hard to follow after reaching Fumarole Bay. The shallow clear water is good for swimming and fishing.

    Crater Lake Hiking Summary Guide

    TrailDistanceElevation GainTimeRating
    Pinnacles Trail1 mile10 feet30 minutes3 stars
    Godfrey Glen1 mile50 feet30 minutes2 stars
    Castle Crest0.5 miles100 feet30 minutes3 stars
    Lady of the Woods0.5 miles120 feet30 minutes2 stars
    Sun Notch0.5 miles115 feet30 minutes4 stars
    Discovery Point2.2 miles100 feet1 hour4 stars
    Annie Creek1.7 miles200 feet1.5 hours4 stars
    Boundary Springs5 miles400 feet2.5 hours3 stars
    Watchman Peak1.6 miles420 feet1 hour5 stars
    Crater Peak6.4 miles765 feet3.5 hours3 stars
    Garfield Peak3.4 miles1010 feet2 to 3 hours5 stars
    Mount Scott5 miles1250 feet3 hours5 stars
    Union Peak11 miles1600 feet5 to 6 hours3 stars
    Cleetwood Cove2.2 miles700 feet1.5 hours3 stars
    Wizard Summit2 miles760 feet1.5 hours5 stars
    Fumarole Bay1.8 miles150 feet1 hour3 stars

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