#20 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best views trails in Crater Lake National Park

4,288 Reviews
Explore the most popular views 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 views trails in Crater Lake National Park
Park information
Acreage:
183,224 acres
Contact
(541) 594-3000
Helpful links
Top trails (23)
#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 - Mount Scott Trail
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(454)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 2 h 33 m
A fun ascent of Mt. Scott, the highest point of Crater Lake. You'll have amazing views of the lake below.Show more
#4 - 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
#5 - Plaikni Falls Trail
Crater Lake National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(250)
Length: 2.0 mi • Est. 54 m
The trail begins with old growth fir and hemlock forest all around which provide a nice bit of shade. It travels through the trees and along rocky bluffs until it hits Sand Creek where it opens up to wildflowers and lush vegetation at the base of Plaikni Falls. Plaikni Falls trail is a pleasant hike and relatively easy at about a mile to the waterfall. Because it's so short, it can be difficult to get away from other people if you're looking for a bit of solitude. Accessibility: This trail has a dirt surface, is typically at least three feet wide, and most of the trail has an estimated grade of 5% or less. The steepest part is the last 0.2 miles, where the grade is between 7% and 15%. Wheelchair, mobility equipment, and stroller users may need assistance in the steep section or to avoid it.Show more
#6 - 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
#7 - 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
#8 - Pinnacles Valley Trail
Crater Lake National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(124)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 18 m
This is an easy flat hike along the rim of a steep valley that features pinnacle shaped volcanic spires. It is located in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. The trail makes for an easy walk along the rim of Pinnacle Valley in Crater Lake National Park. There are great views of volcanic spires. Use caution near cliffs. The trail ends at the park boundary. It is open to bicycles. Accessibility: The first 3/4 of this trail is considered wheelchair and stroller friendly, but the last section to access the falls gets steep so assistance may be required. The accessible portion is mostly flat (all estimated under 5% grade), has a dirt surface, and is typically at least three feet wide.Show more
#9 - 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
#10 - Annie Creek Canyon Trail
Crater Lake National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(73)
Length: 2.1 mi • Est. 1 h 3 m
NOTE: This trail may be closed due to weather conditions. Best to check with the park before visiting for current conditions.Show more
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