The Watchman Peak Trail

MODERATE 46 reviews
#4 of 18 trails in

The Watchman Peak Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Chiloquin, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is best used from June until October.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
390 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

The Watchman Peak Trail in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon is a moderately steep 1.6 mile 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.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great, easy hike with beautiful views.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Sunset!

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Great view at the top!

hiking
3 months ago

Great view from the top. Lake is bigger than I remember.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

It's not a hard trail to hike. Go late summer when all the snow is melted.

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hiked this trail at sunset in early August and the views were truly unbelievable. Highly recommended and not to be missed.

hiking
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Good views of lake. We hiked from Watchman picnic area along Pacific Crest Trail, a little over 3 miles round trip. Much more pleasant than hiking from the Watchman lot. It is crowded as others have said. For more serenity try Garfield Peak.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Nice trail for beginners

Friday, September 02, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

hiking
Saturday, July 30, 2016

To clarify a review below, Crater Lake NP receives a significant amount of snow, and winter is a long season up there. Snow and ice can linger into July, which in turn means the trail is not yet safe enough to open. We hiked this trail on 7/29/16, and there were still large patches of hard snow along the trail. That said, the short "open" season of this trail does not take away from how great it is! Yes, it's short, but it will get your heart pumping through a series of switchbacks up to the fire lookout tower (now a sort of museum). From the top, you get a fabulous vista of the lake and surrounding park. There was a small wildfire when we went, so we also were able to observe the firefighter planes, which was pretty cool. I give this trail five stars for the amazing views, but there is a downside: It's SUPER busy. If you want a peaceful place to contemplate Crater Lake, this is not the trail for you. It's easily accessible from Rim Village and the trailhead is at a very busy overlook. I imagine if you went a little later in the season, before the snow starts, you might have a quieter hike up to the lookout.