Day 6: Crater Lake

PCT Mile 1821 – 1840

Miles Hiked = 16

Fortunately today was another beautiful day with perfect weather along the Pacific Crest Trail. The plan was to detour from the official PCT (red below) and hike the Crater Lake Rim Trail (blue below) which offers wonderful views of the lake.

And yes, the detour is a little shorter thus my “Miles Hiked” noted above is less than the difference in the official PCT miles.

Rex and I left Mazama Village at 7am and headed up the Annie Creek Trail to reunite with the official PCT.

We only hiked on the official PCT for 1.3 miles until we branched off and took another side trail called the Dutton Creek Trail. We were walking uphill through the forest in the cool morning air while the early morning sun cast long shadows across the trail.

This trail took us up to Rim Village where we enjoyed our first views of the deep blue Crater Lake.

Crater Lake

From Rim Village, the Rim Trail travels over six miles clockwise around the western side of the crater rim. The views are amazing!

Wizard Island

Near the halfway point of the Rim Trail is a side trail that leads up to Watchman Overlook – a fire lookout at an elevation of 8013 feet.

The views are great.

It was also a great place to have lunch.

I got some funny looks from the “regular” tourists visiting the overlook but we PCT hikers get used to these “looks” when we re-enter civilization.

Here are a few more photographs.

After several hours of enjoying the views of the lake, the Rim Trail diverges from the rim and heads back down to reunite with the official PCT. As we left the rim, there were nice views to the south, where we had traveled over the past few days – including one last view of Mt. McLaughlin which I had passed two days ago.

Mount McLoughlin – the peak on the left

There were also nice views to the north where we are headed in the next few days – we’ll camp near Mt. Thielsen tomorrow night.

Mount Thielsen

The Rim Trail rejoins the PCT at a trailhead on the North Entrance Road to the National Park. Luckily there is a large water cache at this trailhead otherwise there wouldn’t be any water for over twenty miles. Thank you to “Devilfish” who maintains this cache – he is a true Trail Angel.

Day 6 Recap:

Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “Day 6: Crater Lake

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