“A well-shaded trail that provides the only means of accessing the cool waters of Crater Lake.”
— QuinTCM TCM
Lake · Swimming · Views
Depending on the hardiness of your kids (or yourself if you have to carry them back out) the trail is not that bad. Swimming in the lake is great, especially out at Wizard Island.
Enjoy this short descent leading to one of the only places to access the water's edge. This well-maintained trail is likely to be popular with all manner of visitors, especially during warmer months. While you won't find solitude on this route, you'll be treated to spectacular views of the lake, and an up close view of the volcanic rock that makes up the caldera.
The trailhead is located along East Rim Drive. A large parking lot sits directly across from the trailhead. If the parking lot is full, people often park their vehicles along the road near the trailhead.
This is the only trail that provides access to Crater Lake itself. As such, the trail is often crowded with visitors seeking to take a dip in the cool waters of the lake. The trail works its way down the wall of the caldera through a series of switchbacks till it ends at the rocky shoreline of Crater Lake. The trail itself is wide and well-maintained. Several locations along the trail contain benches for those needing a more restful break during the climb back out.
If you are going to swim in the lake, take some shoes or sandals that can get wet. The shoreline, as well as the ground beyond the shoreline and into the lake, is littered with sharp volcanic rock.