Coordinates 617

Uploaded September 27, 2012

7,743 f
6,180 f
23.9 mi

Viewed 3068 times, downloaded 31 times

near Union Creek, Oregon (United States)

Our original plan was to hike a loop around the entire rim from the visitor's center. The western half is basically a spectacular alternative to spur/sideline off a small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. To take this on a NoBo hike, just leave the PCT when it crosses Hwy 62 and go East on the 62 to Munson Valley Road. Follow Munson Valley Road North. It'll pass Crater Lake Resort and eventually snake its way up to just before the rim and end at Rim Rd. At this fork, you can go right (east) to the visitor's center, or you can head left (west) and begin an alternating road and trail walk around the lake. After going around the West half of the lake, you roadwalk the north entry road and continue north on Crater Lake Highway until the PCT crosses it again.

We continued around the north half of the rim and decided that we didn't really like the routes around the eastern half. It's mostly just road walks on the rim road. The park was very crowded on this day in August and we were getting weary of constantly dodging cars on the road so we just went back the way we came.

If you go, make certain you give yourself enough time and a change of clothes (or at least a towel) to take the trail spur down to the lake's edge and the boat landing. I'd never seen water so blue and clean looking and at the boat landing you can jump in the lake (see the pics attached to the boat landing waypoint flag).

It is the freshest, cleanest lake I've ever been in or around. It's as blue as the sky above it and just as clear. Snow pack was present in the shade even in August, and the lake is fed only by snowmelt and rainwater. It has no inflow tributaries. It's drained by seepage and evaporation. It has no outflow's either. Since it's basically in equilibrium, the water is super pure. When I jumped in, I felt I could see the crater wall continuing on down forever. Amazing.

As far as visuals go, the spectacle of approaching the rim on foot, cresting, and having a lake this blue come into view is like driving thru the tunnel into Yosemite Valley and seeing El Cap, Half Dome, and both of the Falls all of a sudden. It truly rivals Yosemite on the visual level IMHO.

Go jump in a lake!

You can hike down to the water here. There's a boat landing you can use to take tours of the lake, go to Wizard's Island, or go see the Old Man of the Lake. You can also just sunbathe and take a dip in the freshest water ever.


    You can or this trail