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Garfield Peak

Crater Lake National Park

July 18th, 2016

3.4 miles
1080 vertical feet
Total Time: 2:13

Starting elevation
7061 feet
Max elevation
8061 feet

Rating: 9/10

Directions: From Crater Lake Lodge, start hiking from the southeastern end of the lodge along the paved walkway next to the wall above the lake.   View Driving Map



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GPX File

We started this hike around 3pm, and we wouldn't be the last ones to do it today. Because the trail starts right at the lodge and provides fantastic views of the lake, there's probably a steady stream of people going up and down all during the day. I had read that the light is best in the morning, and I can understand why, but early to mid afternoon seems ok as well. It would also probably be a nice place to watch sunset (though sunrise may be better).

View of the mountain we're about to climb

We started off on the paved walkway from the southeastern end of the lodge. There's a small retaining wall on the left, with nice views of Crater Lake to the left. After a short descent, the pavement ends and there's a trailhead sign.

Wizard Island in Crater Lake from the start of the trail

Start of the trail

Trail sign

Past the sign, the trail starts climbing, with ever-higher views of the lake to the left. Sometimes the trail switchbacks away from the views, but soon enough you'll see the lake again. Meanwhile, there are also some views of the forested mountains to the southwest, as well as some nice views of Crater Lake Lodge, perched on the edge of the rim.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Looking back down at the switchbacks

View to the southwest

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Further along, you can see the Phantom Ship to the east across Chaski Bay. Sometimes the trail nears the edge, but you always have the option of staying away from the edge if you're scared of heights. There are no knife edges to walk on.

Phantom Ship in Crater Lake

Phantom Ship in Crater Lake

About half way up there's some partially underground building; not sure what it is. The trail passes by it and then switchbacks next to its roof. Further up, we encountered snow on the trail. It was easy to navigate past the first section of snow. Near the top, however, was a patch of steep snow that a couple people walked/slid down awkwardly. There was a narrow slot that people had post-holed, and we had to wait for two people to come down before we climbed up single file. We were glad to have our trekking poles here.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Soon after that we were standing on the top, with awesome views of Crater Lake below. There were about 10 other hikers here as well. To the south we could see Klamath Basin and I'm sure Crater Peak which we climbed yesterday, though it was hard to tell which one it was.

Summit view

Summit view

Panoramic view from the summit
(Click image to view full size)

View to the southeast

View to the east

View to the east

View to the southeast

Trail and Crater Lake

After enjoying the views and taking pictures, we returned the same way we'd climbed up. It had taken us about 68 minutes to reach the top (including stops), and it took us about 49 minutes to hike down. Now that I know how easy the hike is, if I were staying at the lodge again I'd consider hiking up/down at sunrise or sunset. It'd be easy to get up and down in less time, enjoy the views, and still have time for other hikes during the day.

Descending one of the snow patches

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