Crater Lake Backpack Trek
Jondolar's '05 Adventure
After meeting in Medford, Oregon, on July 24th, Bill and I drove both vehicles to our finishing trailhead parking lot. We left one vehicle there to use for getting back to the other we would leave at the start. After driving together in the other vehicle, we arrived at the trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail that passes across highway 140 going toward Klamath Falls.
The first day's mileage went through forest with mild elevation gains and losses, so our going was fairly easy. We made Island Lake the first night which was a sight to behold the next morning. Of course, with the weather cooperating wonderfully, it made it that much more beautiful.
Our second day's miles were similarly pleasant and we reached Snow Lakes for our second night.
The third day's terrain involved more elevation gain and loss, as we made our way toward, past and beyond Devil's Peak. With each mile under our shoes, we were getting closer to Crater Lake.
Our camp for the third night was near a creek amidst a forest of trees and shrubs with lush meadows all around. With some extra daylight left after setting up camp, Jondolar spent time exploring the surrounding area which was all on a gradual uphill incline as part of the crater's side.
The next morning on the fourth day we entered the Crater Lake National Park and reached the road built around the rim by mid-morning. A quick stop into the interpretive center store for a refreshing snack and drink, a few picture in front of the lake, and we were off along the trail that is between the road and the several hundred feet drop off into the lake. As the day wore on and we made our way around the west and north sides, the temperature increased, making it more uncomfortable on the now sparcely forested north side with a lot of sand on the trail.
Feeling exhausted from the heat, we decided to push on through the seemingly endless lodge pole pine forest for another 8 miles beyond our intended camp spot due to the lack of running water in this portion of the trail. This made for a total of 19 or 20 miles in one day's effort. We finally reached our car at the trailhead parking lot before it got dark and we were exhausted and dehydrated!
So, we'd covered about 75 miles in just four days.
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