Crater Lake National Park

Hikes in Crater Lake National Park

Region in Oregon, United States

Sprawling forests, diverse wildlife species, stunning mountain views, and one of the most pristine lakes in the entire world? Sign us up! Crater Lake National Park features all of the above and more within its 183,224 acre area, making it the ideal place for an outdoor adventure in Oregon.

Named after Crater Lake – the deepest in the United States and the result of a volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago – the park was established in 1902 and draws over 700,000 visitors per year. It is the 5th oldest in the US and is the only national park located in the state of Oregon.

Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will appreciate the picturesque landscape and vibrant plant/animal life, so iIf you are planning a visit to Oregon, then be sure to add Crater Lake National Park to your itinerary!

10 Fantastic Hiking Routes in Crater Lake National Park

Blessed with a fascinating geological history and varied topography, Crater Lake National Park is an ideal place to set out on a spectacular hiking adventure. A good mixture of challenging mountain hikes and family-friendly forest walks makes this a diverse region suitable for a wide range of hikers. If you are planning on visiting the area, be sure to check out this list we’ve put together of our 10 favorite hikes in Crater Lake National Park below:

  • Wizard Island Trail: This spectacular hiking route can be found on Wizard Island, the main island in the middle of Crater Lake. You’ll need to take a ferry to get to the trailhead, but the views are incredible.
  • Discovery Point Trail: Following along the rim of the crater, the Discovery Point Trail is a fantastic route for all ages and skill levels that showcases the natural beauty of the park.
  • Garfield Peak Trail: As the name suggests, this hiking route leads up to the summit of Garfield Peak, providing incredible views overlooking Crater lake and the surrounding mountains.
  • Cleetwood Cove Trail: For those who want to swim or paddle in the Crater Lake, the Cleetwood Cove Trail is the perfect (and only!) route leading down to the water’s edge.
  • The Watchman Peak Trail: This may be a short hike, but what it lacks in overall length it makes up for in stunning views of Crater Lake National Park.
  • Mount Scott Trail: Another great hike for the family, this trail on the east side of the crater leads up to the top of Mount Scott for beautiful views over the water.
  • Mazama Village to Rim Village Trail: Another aptly named hiking route, this lightly-trafficked trail leads between the two villages on the south end of the crater.
  • Plaikni Falls Trail: The definition of a family-friendly hike, this short and sweet trail leads to a wonderfully scenic waterfall setting that is too nice to miss!
  • Annie Creek Canyon Trail: A great hike for anyone camping at the Mazama Village Campground, this route leads down into a scenic canyon landscape with beautiful views.
  • Pinnacles Valley Trail: Quick and easy, the Pinnacles Valley Trail highlights some interesting geological features, including a series of volcanic rock spires that resulted from past volcanic activity in the region.

When is the Best Time to Hike in Crater Lake National Park?

The best time to visit Crater Lake National Park is during the July-October window. Winters are very long in the park, and it is not uncommon for there to still be plenty of snow throughout June. While the Summer and Fall seasons will inherently be busier, you will be able to enjoy the warmest weather and can avoid the need to travel in a 4x4 vehicle… for the most part.

Other Outdoor Activities in Crater Lake National Park

There is no doubt that hiking is the most popular activity in Crater Lake National Park, but what else is there to do in the area? The winter months will naturally provide access to a plethora of winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. Conversely, the summer season offers wildlife watching, fishing, swimming, and boating. No matter what your interests are, everyone should be able to find something fun to do in Crater Lake National Park.

Epic Adventure Tours near Crater Lake National Park

If you sometimes feel like you can’t be bothered to plan an entire trip and simply want to leave it all to the professionals… we get it! Forget about sweating the details and focus on enjoying your trip with one of these fantastic adventure tours in Oregon that will allow you to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Frequently Asked Questions About Crater Lake National Park

What is the best time to visit Crater Lake National Park?

The best months of the year to visit Crater Lake National Park are July, August, and September.

Why is Crater Lake famous?

Crater Lake is well known as being the deepest lake in the United States, measuring at 593 m in depth.

Can you drive all the way around Crater Lake?

Circumnavigating the entirety of Crater Lake, Rim Drive is a scenic 53.0 km road with tight and narrow turns.

Find other fantastic hiking regions in

  • Umpqua National Forest
  • Bend
  • Mount Hood National Forest
  • Willamette National Forest
  • Portland

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Best Hikes in Crater Lake National Park

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    Open details for PCT to Pumice Flat Trail

    PCT to Pumice Flat Trail

    15.9 km
    351 m

    PCT to Pumice Flat Trail is a route that connects–you guessed it–the Pacific Crest Trail with Pumice Flats Trail in Crater Lake National Park. This hike isn’t frequently used for casual day trips and it sees little traffic, but it’s definitely scenic enough to warrant a wander if you have the time. This is a moderately difficult hike.

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    Open details for Raven Trail

    Raven Trail

    4.3 km
    172 m

    Raven Trail travels from the Crater Lake Lodge on the edge of Crater Lake through the trees along a ridge. This trail is used for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. It’s not super well marked, but it’s a pleasant trip through the woods with some areas where previous burns have opened up the views. Expect light to moderate traffic on this trail.

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