Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive

EASY 6 reviews
#14 of 18 trails in

Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive is a 50.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Detroit, Oregon that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and scenic driving and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

50.2 miles 6210 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


scenic driving




This route will take you on a drive around the 33 mile Crater Lake Rim Road stopping at the best viewpoints in Crater Lake National Park along the way. The route starts from the northern entrance to the park. At the entrance gate they give you a brochure on the area. You will definitely want a full day to enjoy all the views.

scenic driving
3 months ago

Such a beautiful piece of nature. I have never seen water this color blue, absolutely breathtaking!

scenic driving
3 months ago

Awesome out of the ways drive you have to really want to do.... only once but I'd like to go back and spend a week hiking.

scenic driving
6 months ago

This was a fun drive and pit stop on my friends and my road trip. The road twists and turns and affords beautiful views of crater lake and the surrounding areas. There is some congestion around cleetwood cove. Overall it made for a fun detour from our road trip south

scenic driving
6 months ago


scenic driving
6 months ago

Our activities on the Crater Lake Rim - it’s 33 miles and about 2 hr. drive around lake with no stops – with stops and short hikes allow up to at least a half day– go clockwise - these are not in order...
1. Steele Information Center – has a 18 min video on CL – open 9-5
2. Rim VC – 9:30-4:30 (note there is a 2 hr trolley ride around entire rim drive w/4 stops)
3. Sun Notch Viewpoint - 20 minutes, 0.25 miles one way to views – watch cliffs! Moderate - TH: 4 miles east of Park HQ on the East Rim Dr. View of CL and Phantom Ship
4. Pinnacles Trail - 30 minutes, 1 mile flat hike out to OL and back, Easy - TH: End of Pinnacles Spur Road, 7 miles south of Phantom Ship Overlook/7 miles from Steele Info Ctr, Views of volcanic spires in canyon walls.
5. Garfield Peak - Time: 2-3 hours; 1.7 miles one way, Difficult - TH: Follow sidewalk on lakeside of Crater Lake Lodge going east to start dirt trail, Panoramic epic views of Lake. May be closed due to snow.
6. Watchman Peak Sunset Hike with ranger for sunsets; starts 1 hr before sunset to historic fire lookout, check with VC for times. 1.6 mi. RT, 1 hr - TH at Watchman Overlook, 3.7 mi. north of Rim Village on West Rim Drive. We did this mid-morning.
7. Overlooks: Cloudcap @ 8,000’, Watchman Trail and Overlook (turquoise pools), Pumice Pt. (u-shaped glaciers), Phantom Ship. Other overlooks – Discovery Point (2.2 mi. RT), Pinnacle Overlook.
8. Crater Lake Lodge – Dinner reservations -call 541-594-2255 x3217
9. Cleetwood Cove (the only lake shore access), 1.5 hours, 1.1 miles one way, Strenuous, 11% grade, TH: 4.5 miles east of junction of East Rim Road and North Entrance Road, Lake shore and boat dock. Jump from 18-ft rock ledge into 55 degree lake or just enjoy the hike.
Wizard Island hike (will not add much to trip if strapped for time – take boat over 1.75 hrs and hike 2 miles to summit. Boats $19-39, see -
The most beautiful country, the bluest water, the most striking night sky anywhere in the world!

4 years ago

This is a must see and experience. I only had a short time to visit, but made the most of it. The rim road makes it easy to see 360 degrees of the Lake. I did get to take the hike down to the lake a took "the Plunge" and jumped in for a couple of minutes. It was chilly, but not as cold as expected.