Garfield Peak

Climb to a stunning overlook of Crater Lake.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
5.5 km
Ascent
337 m
Descent
337 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.5 km
Gradient
Garfield Peak Map

Garfield Peak holds the title of "most popular hike in Crater Lake National Park," so if you don't enjoy trail traffic, it's best to head further off the beaten path. That said, Crater Lake as a whole isn't nearly as trafficked as some of the big-name national parks, so the number of people vying for the summit of Garfield Peak is generally quite reasonable.

Description

And once you get there... Oh. My. Gosh. The view!

The hike begins from the lodge and main parking area on the southern end of Crater Lake National Park. The trail is straightforward with no turns, so this out-and-back hike requires no navigation whatsoever.

The trail tread is quite wide and well-trod, but in places, it is quite steep and reasonably rocky. The steepness of the trail combined with some big rocks and boulders earn it a "difficult" FATMAP rating, although the 3.4-mile round-trip hike will feel easy to many. Do also note that while the trail tread is relatively wide, the bench is cut into the side of a steep mountain, and at times the exposure is substantial.

Unlike some hikes where you're only greeted with a view once you reach the end (and sometimes not even then), you'll enjoy expansive views the entire time while hiking to the top of Garfield Peak! The vistas continue to change as you round various switchbacks and move from one side of the ridge to the rim, and back again. Keep your phone at the ready to snap dozens of photos!

Once on top, enjoy the panoramic 360-degree views, with the entirety of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA, spread out below you. It's truly an incredible sight to behold!

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area