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Crater Lake Trail #562 Map: Click here
Length: 3.7-miles (one-way)
Elevation Stats: Elevation gain 708’, then descent 1353’ one-way to lake from elevation 11,500’.
Trailhead facilities: None
Trail descripton: This hike description is to Crater Lake. Remember that your return hike will be almost entirely uphill.
Reaching this trailhead is contingent on Park Creek Road (FS 380) being open from winter’s snowfall.
Reaching Crater Lake is a high alpine, high elevation hike beginning in a stand of spruce that soon opens to grand meadows with long distance views. Less than a mile into the hike the trail merges with the Continental Divide Trail No. 813 and splits from the shared path at approximately mile 1.5. Descending, the wilderness area fluctuates between summer flowers blanketing the meadows and forest providing shady respite.
The lake is flanked by cliff-like walls on one side but clear pathway on the other side for hiking from one end to the other.
Driving directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, travel east crossing over Wolf Creek Pass, past Big Meadows Reservoir and nearly into South Fork turning south onto Park Creek Road (FS 380), a gravel road. Continue 19.1-miles to a small pullout on the west side of the roadway. A small sign will note the trailhead.
Driving directions map: Click here