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Crater Lake Sunrise

Crater Lake: Best Hikes near the Deepest Lake in the USA

Explore the best hikes around the deepest and most pristine lake in the United States!

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Crater Lake Sunrise
Crater Lake Sunrise Photo: Robert Shea


At 1,949 feet deep, Crater Lake reigns as the deepest lake in the United States. While worldwide it ranks 9th for depth, it is considered one of the cleanest and clearest bodies of water in the world!

Crater Lake "was formed 7,700 years ago when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed after a huge eruption," according to Suemedha Sood on BBC.com. Now, the caldera measures a staggering 2,148 feet deep. The lake itself measures an impressive 5 miles by 6 miles across.

A national park has been designated to protect the lake, and trails have been built along the crater's rim and throughout the park. This guidebook shares the best hikes in Crater Lake National Park, both to access the best views and to escape the crowds.

Garfield Peak and Cleetwood Cove are two of the most popular hikes in the park. Hikers naturally flock to the easily-accessible trailhead of Garfield, thanks to the incredible views the low peak provides over the lake. As for Cleetwood Cove, this short but steep hike is the only way to actually reach the waters of the lake.

As the tallest peak in the national park, Mount Scott also attracts its fair share of hikers, although the steep climb does dissuade some people from reaching the summit. And while Wizard Island is visible from anywhere on the crater's rim, actually reaching the summit of the island is quite logistically difficult... but not impossible.

If you want to leave the crowds behind, head to the far-flung southeastern corner of the national park for the easy hike on the Pinnacles Overlook trail. Or, if you want to bag a peak, set your sights on Union Peak to avoid the crowds closer to Crater Lake.

Whichever trail you choose, it's tough to go wrong in a landscape as dramatic as the one found in Crater Lake National Park!

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CraterLake http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20120810-travelwise-the-planets-pristine-waters https://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

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