Little Belknap Crater via PCT

MODERATE 45 reviews

Little Belknap Crater via PCT is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sisters, Oregon that features a cave and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,141 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

cave

forest

views

rocky

no dogs

hiking
2 months ago

Went to the top of belknap crater followed by little belknap. Got caught in a couple nice snow storms but made it out safely. Wonderful hike overall. Had some amazing views from the top of both. Definitely rough on the feet though.

hiking
rocky
snow
3 months ago

awesome. just completely awe-inspiringly beautiful. recording is route up big belknap crater!

hiking
3 months ago

Big and little Belknap craters. PCT over lava bed is hard on soles of feet unless you have a rock plate in your shoes. Snow on north slope of big crater was icy/crusty making route finding difficult and a little dangerous. I was happy that the last section of little crater was a fun scramble.

hiking
5 months ago

interesting, unique lava landscape. the hike to the top of big belknap creator is worth it.

hiking
6 months ago

Caves and peak were cool. View of sisters was lovely. Trail bit boring after awhile.

10 months ago

GORGEOUS!! Definitely wear solid sturdy shoes .. hubby had to throw his shoes out after this hike ate the rubber. Winds can get crazy out here but the views are worth it.

hiking
Sat Oct 13 2018

You are pretty much walking through Lava the vast majority of the time. Pretty neat area if you have never been here before, not much of a repeat type of hike but certainly one that you need to do at least once.

hiking
Mon Aug 27 2018

Awesome hike, 90% of the travel is over a lava flow, so be prepared for that and wear a sturdy shoe. Amazing views during the entire hike but the summit views are rewarding.

hiking
Sun Jun 17 2018

Catch the PCT just a few hundred feet west of the Dee Wright Observatory. The trail itself is mixed terrain and crosses different sections of ancient lava flows (for the geology nerds out there). Wear sturdy hiking boots or your feet will be pleading for mercy on the rough and jagged lava rock. Little to no shade, so plenty of water and sunscreen is a must. I highly recommend also heading to the top of Big Belknap Crater, which is just a bit further up the PCT before shooting to the left and up the steep scree-covered slope (can't really miss it), which adds another mile each way. The intimate view of Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters will blow your scree-filled socks off.

hiking
Thu Jul 20 2017

Hike across 2 miles of sharp lava flow on PCT and then a short.2 mile side trail up Little Belknap. Climb up to the top and inside a cavelike opening there are a couple of lava tubes you can look down into, pretty cool. Easy hike but tough on feet

hiking
Sun Jul 09 2017

Definitely bring sturdy shoes. Views from the top are incredible.

hiking
Tue Nov 01 2016

Highly recommend this hike! It's fun going through the lava bed area and up to little belknap. Great 360 views and if your feeling up to it afterwards head over to big belknap for an even better view. We camped in the Mckenzie pass area for a week and this was by far my favorite hike.

Wed Aug 31 2016

Nice hike Great view from the top no shade after the first three-quarter mile so recommend starting early on sunny days. got to talk with a few PCT hikers can't wait to go back and do Belknap mountain or Black Butte both are taller

Thu Aug 04 2016

Wear strong shoes and have your sunblock ready

hiking
Mon Jul 04 2016

This hike is worth the 360 degree view at the summit of Little Belknap. That being said, plan to make this a day hike because walking across all that rocky lava is pretty tiring, especially on the decent.

hiking
Thu Aug 13 2015

Great hike. I love to take my out of town visitors on this.

hiking
Sun Aug 02 2015

In case you are still uncertain after reading the other reviews: wear good shows (ankles support), no dogs/pets, sunscreen and hat. It is probably not a good idea to try and venture off trail in the lava flow (I did it once for a photo opportunity); a small stumble or a hand-grip to stabilize yourself can be a reminder of how unforgiving lava rocks can be. The beginning of the trail is deceiving as the trail weaves it's way around two forested "islands" in the middle of the lava flow. Soon enough it is ALL lava all the way to the top (a bit over 2 miles). For such a short hike, the views from the top are absolutely worth every ankle-twisting step it takes to get there. Nothing stops the views to the East and the North. I went to Little Belknap as a side-trip when hiking the portion of the PCT between McKenzie pass and Santiam pass (the track I posted therefore shows much more mileage that it takes just to go round-trip to the Little Belknap crater.

hiking
Sat Nov 15 2014

GREAT trail, we ended at the Dee Wright Observatory which is quite a pit-stop. Don't recommend bring the pup. Do bring a good and sturdy pair of shoes and a hat and sunblock, especially if it will be sunny/hot.

hiking
Sun Oct 05 2014

Great views! Do NOT take your dogs! Their paws will give out on their way back (terrain is too harsh). You may have to carry your dog back. We did. Wear good shoes too! It is totally worth it to get to the top. Don't give up.

hiking
Sun Aug 04 2013

really interesting hike. a lot different from a forest or alpine hike. bring sun screen, there is no shade. and watch your step, it's easy to get tripped up on the loose lava rocks

hiking
Sun Jan 29 2012

What a great little hike thru ancient pyroclastic flows! Indeed wear good shoes and no dogs but otherwise the trail is outstanding! The hike starts by skirting two forested "islands" before making the frontal assault. Near the top there are some very cool lava tubes to explore.. We did not do the optional hike over to the top of Belknap Crater the view from the Little was just fine. Excellent views of Three Finger Jack, Mt. Jefferson, Mt Washington, Black Butte, Black Crater, North Sister, Middle Sister, Little Brother. There was a dozen or so other people but we had the summit to ourselves. Ran into an old boss from HP on the way down small world!

hiking
Mon May 31 2010

Wear good shoes and don't take the dogs, too hard on their paws. But a fun and pretty hike. With some cool little caves at the top.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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