Hike to Garfield Peak in Crater Lake National Park
That blue! Crater Lake National Park has the deepest lake in the country and the seventh deepest in the world. The park is a volcanic wonder, created when a massive eruption collapsed 12,000-foot Mount Mazama thousands of years ago.
The marquee attraction is the stunning lake, surrounded by huge, sheer cliffs that are reflected on the water. The setting is all the more enchanting with Wizard Island—a volcanic cinder cone set right in its midst. It’s utterly photogenic.
For one of the very best perspectives of Crater Lake, hike the 3.4-mile (total) out-and-back to Garfield Peak. The trailhead is located at Crater Lake Lodge. Get an early start for fewer crowds and less wind.
This is a peak hike, so it’s all about going up, but it’s pretty gradual, and totally rewarding. The views are with you most of the way, and the higher you go, the better the view of the lake and surrounding Cascade Mountain Range, including as far as Mount Lassen on a clear day.
BONUS KAYAK: You can’t kayak or canoe on Crater Lake, but you can do both in the Klamath Basin. The Upper Klamath Canoe Trail is ideal for an afternoon exploration. The entire Upper Klamath Canoe Trail is 9.5 miles, but you can paddle a shorter duration, too. Keep an eye out for river otters and enjoy some premier views of snowy Mount McLoughlin. Rent a kayak or canoe from ROE Outfitters and ask about their guided tours too. ROE Outfitters also has a zipline.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Road Trip to Spectacular: National Park, Hot Springs & Hikes” the Weekend Sherpa team discuss their adventures in Southern Oregon. Part of the podcast was recorded from the top of Garfield Peak!
TIP: If you want to spend the night in this area, Running Y Ranch Resort is a good bet, with a nice outdoor dining patio and fire pit at the Ruddy Duck restaurant.
2020 Travel: Here’s more information on Southern Oregon’s health guidelines and updates.
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