#20 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best wildlife trails in Crater Lake National Park

2,525 Reviews
Explore the most popular wildlife 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 wildlife trails in Crater Lake National Park
Park information
Acreage:
183,224 acres
Contact
(541) 594-3000
Helpful links
Top trails (16)
#1 - The Watchman Peak Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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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
#2 - Mount Scott Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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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
#3 - Plaikni Falls Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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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
#4 - Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive
Crater Lake National Park
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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
#5 - Mazama Village to Rim Village at Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park
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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
#6 - Crater Peak Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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Length: 7.0 mi • Est. 3 h 37 m
#7 - Castle Crest Wildflower Garden Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 34 m
#8 - Union Peak Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 5 h
#9 - Pacific Crest Trail and Alternate Loop
Crater Lake National Park
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Length: 31.0 mi • Est. Multi-day
#10 - Dutton Creek Trail
Crater Lake National Park
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Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 2 h 29 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
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