hike: Crater Lake – Mount Scott

Located on the east side of Crater Lake, Mount Scott is the highest point in the park (8,929 ft.), with a working fire lookout at the summit.

This hike description is an excerpt from my “I Heart Oregon’s Seven Wonders” guide book.

Distance: 5 miles
Elevation gain: 1,250 ft.

Usually covered in snow from October to July, check with the park’s ranger station for current conditions before heading out on this hike. As with other trails at Crater Lake National Park, dogs are not allowed on this trail.

To reach the trailhead, take the East Rim Road for 14 miles from the Steel Visitor Center to a roadside pullout for parking. The first section of trail is relatively flat and located beside an open pumice field with views of Mount Scott and its summit ridge.

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After about a quarter mile, the trail begins a gradual ascent along the southwestern side of Mount Scott through a forest of mountain hemlock, with whitebark pines and Shasta red firs. Climbing more steeply, the trail switchbacks up with views of Crater Lake to the west and the Klamath Basin to the south.

 

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Winding around to the summit ridge, the trail follows the ridge to the north to the fire lookout. From the ridge, a full panoramic view of Crater Lake fills the horizon. In mid- to late July, alpine wildflowers bloom along the slopes.

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