Little Crater Lake Trail #500
ElevationAscent: 88' 27 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 3,331' 1,015 m
Low: 3,243' 989 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)
Current trail conditions
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“Little Crater Lake Trail is a short easy run to a spectacularly small (Crater Lake-like) blue lake.”— Kathleen Walker
The Little Crater Lake Trail begins in the day use area of Little Crater Campground in Little Crater Meadow. The wet meadow has grazing cattle fenced out to encourage the wildflowers. What it lacks in size (it looks like a small pond), it make up for in brilliant azure blue color and clarity. It is quite deep, and you can see clear to the bottom. Please do not try to get into the lake or swim or let your dog do so, since it muddies the very cold water. A quick run or drive will take you to Timothy Lake which is a much better swimming alternative.
The source of the clear cold water is an artesian "blow hole" that has worked its way through soft volcanic rock. The water in the Little Crater Lake Campground (handpump is just past the entrance to the campground on your right) is also artesian based and some of the best tasting and potable water on the mountain.
Little Crater Lake Trail can be used to access the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Timothy Lake Trail which makes for a nice 10 mile loop.
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Land Manager: USFS - Mt. Hood National Forest - Zigzag Ranger Distict