DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,594 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

scenic driving

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

hiking
12 days ago

This hike is awesome. I can understand lacking motivation to do it since you can also drive to the top, and tons of people do that very thing. Nevertheless, there are views along the hiking trail that cannot be seen any other way than hiking the trail. I'm talking awesome views! Well worth the steep climb up. I see no reason to start at Paulina Lake along the Crater Rim Trail as this route suggests. Drive 0.7 miles on the road toward Paulina Peak, and you will find a gravel parking area and trailhead. The section of trail from the lake not very interesting anyway. From the trailhead mentioned, it is two miles up and two miles back for a total of four miles. On your way up, watch for side trails to huge rocks. These side trails offer some awesome view angles. Be very careful though! Don't let small children play close to the cliff edges. I don't recommend climbing the huge rocks that jut out. It's tempting, but they are vertical climbs and dangerously situated on the edge of doom below. Just get close enough to the rocks to snap photos of the lakes below or of Paulina Peak above (the trail's destination).