#20 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best lake trails in Crater Lake National Park

3,115 Reviews
Explore the most popular lake trails in Crater Lake National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of lake trails in Crater Lake National Park
Park information
Acreage:
183,224 acres
Contact
(541) 594-3000
Helpful links
Top trails (10)
#1 - Garfield Peak Trail
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(991)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 2 h 6 m
This is the one of the most popular hiking trails in Crater Lake with close proximity to the Rim Village and Crater Lake Lodge. There are spectacular panoramic views of the entire lake and other high cascades features to the north and to the south the Klamath Basin and southern Cascade features. This short steep hike leaves the parking lot of Crater Lake Lodge and immediately heads uphill. Stick with it for a half mile or so and you will be rewarded with views of the lake - and they only get better as you climb! The trail leads eastward contouring the ridge above Crater Lake. The track turns northward one half mile from the trailhead and begins to climb. It ascends the northwestern ridge of Garfield Peak then turns eastward. Gaining the northern ridge crest the route continues to climb to the 8,060-foot summit. Views from this lofty peak south of Crater Lake include the lake, Phantom Ship and terrain south. There is a good path to the top, but, be prepared for a difficult climb along this trail.Show more
#2 - The Watchman Peak Trail
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(491)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 42 m
The Watchman Peak Trail in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, is a moderately steep out and back climb to a 360 degree view on the west side above Crater Lake from a historic fire lookout. Starting from the Watchman Overlook pullout, 3.7 miles north and west of Rim Village on West Rim Drive overlooking Wizard Island, the Watchman Peak Trail starts from the south end of a paved parking area and gradually switchbacks up to The Watchman fire tower overlooking Crater Lake and panoramic views over the entire surrounding area. This key vantage point offers spectacular views of the lake and Wizard Island, especially in the afternoon. Also night hikes with a ranger are available for some awesome star gazing. Given the altitude and snow conditions in winter, this trail closes seasonally. Check with the park before attempting during winter.Show more
#3 - Discovery Point Trail
Crater Lake National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(294)
Length: 4.0 mi • Est. 2 h 14 m
NOTE: This trail may be closed due to weather conditions. Updated conditions can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/conditions.htmShow more
#4 - Sun Notch Trail
Crater Lake National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(172)
Length: 0.8 mi • Est. 24 m
This is a quick loop off of Rim Road to a terrific viewpoint over Crater Lake down to the Phantom Ship Island below. You'll have great views of the towering walls of the rim around you as you hike across a nice meadow to the edge of the rim.Show more
#5 - Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive
Crater Lake National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(58)
Length: 50.2 mi
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.Show more
#6 - Mazama Village to Rim Village at Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(49)
Length: 8.3 mi • Est. 4 h 31 m
Spectacular Volcanic Lake at Crater Lake National Park with multiple rim hikes, Rim Drive, can hike to lake level at Cleetwood Cove, see millions of stars on clear nights. Like No Place Else On Earth - Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.Show more
#7 - Pacific Crest Trail and Alternate Loop
Crater Lake National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(20)
Length: 31.0 mi • Est. Multi-day
#8 - Cleetwood Cove Trail [CLOSED]
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(864)
Length: 2.1 mi • Est. 1 h 16 m
Note: As of October 19, 2020 the Cleetwood Cove Trail (the only trail that leads to the shore of Crater Lake) is now closed for the season. Please check here for updates before visiting: https://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/conditions.htm Steep down and back hike from Crater Lake Rim road to the shoreline near the only boat dock in the park offering spectacular views of the lake and surrounding rim. Cleetwood Cove trail offer the only lake shore access in Crater Lake National Park and offers spectacular lake views and access to the lake at the bottom of the trail at and near the boat dock. The steep trail takes from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and is 2.2 miles RT with an elevation gain of about 700 ft. The trip up is strenuous with an 11% grade. The boat dock offers boat tours of the lake or to Wizard Island; tickets can be purchased at the parking lot at the top of the trail. One of the must do hikes in CLNP.Show more
#9 - Wizard Island Trail [CLOSED]
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(67)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 1 h 26 m
In order to get to Wizard Island, you have to get to the boat dock on the lakeshore via Cleetwood Cove Trail. It is a steep walk down, and you will need to walk back up on the way back- this part will be the most challenging part of the day. Shuttle boats will take you to this trailhead. The boat will then pick you up later that same day- you cannot camp out on the island. You'll need to reserve a spot on the Wizard Island shuttle to do this. Date & Time Everyday 9:45 AM to 1:45 PM,12:45 PM to 5:45 PM Fee Information $57 (Ages 13 and up) $36 (Ages 3-12) Contact Phone Number: 1-888-774-2728Show more
#10 - PCT: Crater Lake to Willamette Trailhead [CLOSED]
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(3)
Length: 80.5 mi • Est. Multi-day
It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information: https://www.pcta.org/covid-19/Show more