Eric and I had so much fun at Mt. Shasta that we decided to head over to Crater Lake in Oregon. Neither of us had ever camped out there and we were eager to hike some trails and sleep in the mountain air. We were not disappointed.
We opted for all the 'roads-less-traveled,' including the entrance road. We entered on the road that is closed due to snowfall from November to end of June most years, off of highway 230, entering the National Park at its North Entrance.
We had five days total and decided to do day hikes from a base camp. Being a National Park, we knew we would have plenty of company even at the most remote campground, but we also heard that the beauty of the place and the great day hiking were worth the bother. We chose Lost Creek Campground due to it being open for tents. No fun camping in tents next to behemoth RV's with generators over at Mazama Campground.
We found a good spot at Lost Creek Campground and spent the afternoon setting up camp and planning our remaining days. It was our first chance to try out my new grill, on of those portable charcoal grills, which are a great way to cook when you are camping, not backpacking. So perfect for this trip. It worked great!
After dinner we drove down to the Pinnacles Overlook, which is near the campground. It was a pleasant surprise. Simply breathtaking! Reminded us both of the spires of Bryce Canyon. We stayed there until it got too dark to see the pinnacles. Nobody else came by the whole time we were there. Ah - nice. A place less travelled.
Day 2 we set aside for a hike to Crater Peak, elevation 7263 feet. This trail starts at Grayback Drive, which runs near our campground, close to Rim Drive, at Vidae Falls Picnic Area. We had a great time on this trail, despite there being no view of Crater Lake from the top. It was about 3 miles to the top. The trail was easy once we got past the steep beginning. The view from the top of Crater Peak gave us a panoramic view of the area all around our campground. We could really see where we were camped! We saw plenty of Clark's Nutcrackers and Mountain Chickadees.
Through the binoculars we think we saw some elk grazing in a far off meadow.
After our hike we cleaned up and then relaxed in camp for a bit, and then headed to the Rim Village Cafe for a casual dinner out on the patio, where we had a great view of Crater Lake. All in all, a perfect day.
Day 3 we set aside to climb Mt. Scott, the highest peak in the park. After a liesurely breakfast we drove to the trailhead at the road to Cloudcap Overlook. It was quite a strenuous hike, about two and a half miles each way. The view of Crater Lake from the top was worth the climb. We also enjoyed the panoramic view of the rest of the park from up there.
We decided to eat dinner in camp and enjoyed the evening at the campsite.
Day 4 We climbed Garfield Peak and really enjoyed the many panoramic views of Crater Lake. The Phantom Ship overlook was fantastic! We decided this was our favorite hike.
Again we had dinner in camp and just relaxed in camp. We drove to Pinnacle Overlook one more time.
Day 5 we broke camp after breakfast and spent the whole morning being tourists. We drove the entire Rim Drive slowly, stopping at every lookout and stayed longer than your average tourist. Eric did some sketches. We took the trail down to the edge of the lake and took a quick dip in the water...not warm! Ha!
A great, fun, relaxing time for both of us. We like Crater Lake!
Camping and Hiking at Crater Lake - Weekends Outdoors.