Castle Crest Wildflower Trail
ElevationAscent: 37' 11 m
Descent: -35' -11 m
High: 6,427' 1,959 m
Low: 6,393' 1,948 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)
Current trail conditions
Popular hikes nearby
Crater Peak Trail
2.8 mi 4.5 km • Point to Point • 729 ft Ascent 222.14 m Ascent
Singletrack Crater Lake, OR( 1 )
Wizard Island Summit Trail
2.5 mi 4.0 km • Out and Back • 736 ft Ascent 224.3 m Ascent
Singletrack Crater Lake, OR( 2 )
Sky Lakes Wilderness Traverse
33.4 mi 53.8 km • Point to Point • 3,462 ft Ascent 1055.08 m Ascent
Singletrack Fort Kalmath, OR( 1 )
Sky Lakes Basin Loop
16.9 mi 27.1 km • Loop • 2,238 ft Ascent 682.12 m Ascent
Singletrack Fort Kalmath, OR( 2 )
Devils Peak Loop Hike
14.0 mi 22.5 km • Loop • 2,984 ft Ascent 909.45 m Ascent
Singletrack Prospect, OR( 2 )
Hiked this trail?
Add details to help others plan their adventure.
“Small brook, lush vegetation, spectacular blooms of wildflowers in summer months”— Brian Smith
Family Friendly This is a nice, easy loop with the opportunity to teach youngsters a thing or two about wildflowers!
In summer, a multitude of flowering plants, suited to moist soils and plenty of sunlight, flourish in the meadow. While lingering snowbanks melt, tiny violets and buttercups bloom, shooting stars unfurl pink darts, and bistorts display white florets. Verdant mosses claim the wet meadow center. Different species come into bloom throughout the season to change the meadows complexion.
In average winters, 50 feet of snow falls on Castle Crests slopes. Seeds, roots, and runners of a host of plants lie dormant beneath the snowpack. As spring arrives in June, new shoots push upward and willow branches sprout fresh leaves.
Through plant succession the meadow community is constantly changing as plants compete for sunlight and compete for sunlight and water. Willows encroach upon the meadow herbs. Red fir-mountain hemlock forest gradually replaces the willows. The forest can regenerate itself indefinitely under present climatic conditions. For now, Castle Crest Spring continues to bathe the roots of the pink monkeyflowers and other colorful mountain wildflowers.
Look for these wildflowers: Gorman buttercup (Ranunculus gormanii), Shooting stars (Dodecatheon alpinum), American Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides), Pacific red elder (Sambucuc racemosa var. microbotrys), Scarlet paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), Eastwood willow (Salix eastwoodiae), Columbia monkshood (Aconitum columbainum), Pacific bleedingheart (Dicentra formosa), Arrowleaf groundsel (Senecio triangularis), Mountain Violet (Viola purpurea, var. venosa), Blue stickseed (Hackelia micrantaha), Lewis monkeyflower (Mimulus lewisii), Common pearl-everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)