Guidebook

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!

Greg Heil

Description

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/Crater_Lake
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20120810-travelwise-the-planets-pristine-waters
https://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

Garfield Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Garfield Peak

1 - 2 hrs
5.5 km
337 m
337 m
Climb to a stunning overlook of Crater Lake.
Difficult
Private
Cleetwood Cove
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Cleetwood Cove

1 - 2 hrs
3.3 km
186 m
186 m
The only way to reach the waters of Crater Lake.
Moderate
Private
Wizard Island Summit
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Wizard Island Summit

1 - 2 hrs
3.9 km
232 m
232 m
One of the most beautiful but logistically difficult to reach points in Crater Lake National Park.
Severe
Private
Pinnacles Overlook
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pinnacles Overlook

0 - 1 hrs
2.3 km
29 m
29 m
Head off the beaten path in Crater Lake National Park.
Easy
Private
Union Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Union Peak

4 - 5 hrs
15.0 km
555 m
554 m
Escape the crowds on this remote summit hike.
Severe
Private
Crater Lake National Park: Mount Scott

Crater Lake National Park: Mount Scott

1 - 2 hrs
4.1 km
443 m
77 m
Travel into the fiery past of Mount Mazama on this 5.2-mile out-and-back to the park's highest peak, where sprawling views of the deepest lake in the United States await.
Difficult
Private