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Crater Lake Backpack Trek

Updated on March 7, 2008

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.

Bill, left, and Jondolar, right, are fresh and clean at the start of the trek.
Bill, left, and Jondolar, right, are fresh and clean at the start of the trek.
Taking a rest along the trail near Mt. McLoughlin.
Taking a rest along the trail near Mt. McLoughlin.
Our view of Island Lake the next morning.
Our view of Island Lake the next morning.
Bill checks his guide book next to Heavenly Twin Lake.
Bill checks his guide book next to Heavenly Twin Lake.
Second night's campsite at Snow Lakes.
Second night's campsite at Snow Lakes.
Sunset at Snow Lakes.
Sunset at Snow Lakes.
Jondolar climbing up toward Devil's Peak.
Jondolar climbing up toward Devil's Peak.
Bill climbing up Devi's Peak with Mt. McLoughlin to the south.
Bill climbing up Devi's Peak with Mt. McLoughlin to the south.
Jondolar looks south to view Mt. Shasta in the distance.
Jondolar looks south to view Mt. Shasta in the distance.
Skirting along Devil's Peak looking north.
Skirting along Devil's Peak looking north.
Devil's Peak looming above us.
Devil's Peak looming above us.
Sign designating the boundary into Crater Lake National Park.
Sign designating the boundary into Crater Lake National Park.
Bill takes a rest while his socks dry in the sunshine.
Bill takes a rest while his socks dry in the sunshine.
Through the forest of the southern area of the park.
Through the forest of the southern area of the park.
Jondolar poses in front of Crater Lake.
Jondolar poses in front of Crater Lake.
Jondolar and Bill pose together in front of Crater Lake.
Jondolar and Bill pose together in front of Crater Lake.
Jondolar walks in the shade of the trees along the crater's rim.
Jondolar walks in the shade of the trees along the crater's rim.
Bill takes in the fabulous view of the lake from the west side.
Bill takes in the fabulous view of the lake from the west side.
Jondolar looks north from the lake's rim.
Jondolar looks north from the lake's rim.
A full view of the lake from the north rim.
A full view of the lake from the north rim.
Leaving the north rim, the terrain becomes dry & hot!
Leaving the north rim, the terrain becomes dry & hot!
After about 10 miles, we finally reach the highway just before trail's end.
After about 10 miles, we finally reach the highway just before trail's end.
Bill and Jondolar at trail's end looking well worn out.
Bill and Jondolar at trail's end looking well worn out.

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    • Jondolar profile image
      Author

      Jondolar 10 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Hi stehhicks68,

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, isn't it wierd how, although we live near places that tourists from out of the area will come from half way across the globe to see, we don't go ourselves because we believe we're going to go soon, but end up not finding the time? I'm sure there are several places here in the Puget Sound that I've not gone to see myself; yet I live very near these places. Our modern lives are funny that way, I think.

      I love the photos too. Bill Sharpsteen, my hiking buddy, took them all. He's a freelance photographer and has a web site with some pretty nice stuff.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Oh my gosh! This is about 2 hours from where I live now! We camped at Camp McLoughlin with the cub scouts last summer. I've been dying to get to Crater Lake (too busy, 4 kids and a job, but soon). I LOVE your photos again!

    • Jondolar profile image
      Author

      Jondolar 10 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Hi Princessa,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, this trip was one of my favorites.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 10 years ago from France

      Again, absolutely lovely pictures, what a beautiful place!

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