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Wizard Island Summit

One of the most beautiful but logistically difficult to reach points in Crater Lake National Park.

Hiking Severe

3.9 km
232 m
232 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Wizard Island Summit Map

"Wizard Island" is the name of the iconic volcanic cone jutting out of the brilliant blue waters of Crater Lake. While visible from anywhere on the crater's rim, the top of Wizard Island's Summit actually takes quite a bit of logistical work to reach.


To begin, you'll have to hike down the Cleetwood Cove trail to reach the water's edge and a shuttle boat that will transport you to Wizard Island. Be sure to book your passage in advance. "You have the option of a three-hour, half-day drop-off or a full-day, six-hour stay," according to Chris Young on OutdoorProject.com.

After a beautiful boat ride across the lake, you'll finally have reached Wizard Island itself. But in front of you is a steep mile and a quarter of hiking to climb over 760 vertical feet to reach the conical summit of Wizard Island.

The trail itself requires scrambling over "large, treacherous lava rocks" and hiking uphill on loose, sliding gravel, according to Young. While the hike isn't long, it can feel quite demanding, especially in the harsh, direct sunlight of mid-summer at these high elevations. Once at the top of Wizard Island, be sure to hike around the entire mini caldera to soak in the views from every angle. You can also follow a social trail dropping 90 feet back down into Wizard Island's caldera, if you so desire. Be sure to savor these views from the top of the island, as it's one of the most beautiful and logistically difficult-to-reach points in all of Crater Lake National Park.

After hiking back down the mountain, take a dip in the lake to wash off the dust while you wait for your boat ride back to Cleetwood Cove. But be sure to save some energy, because when you get back to Cleetwood, you'll still be faced with an almost 700 vertical foot climb back to the crater's rim.



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and September


  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area