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Watchman Peak Trail

Intermediate
 4.7 (17)

A short yet fulfilling trail offering expansive views of Crater Lake and Wizard Island.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.9

KM

Point to Point

8,009' 2,441 m

High

7,681' 2,341 m

Low

328' 100 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · Views

Family Friendly Although the trail gains good elevation over a short distance, the views are great and kids will feel a sense of accomplishment from reaching the peak.

Description

The trail is located along West Rim Dr., 3.7 miles north of Rim Village. A parking lot is located just north of the trail at a place called Watchman Overlook. It is also possible to reach the trail from the Rim Village by following a foot traffic-only trail that follows the rim of the crater. That trail is listed here as Pacific Crest Trail Alternate North.

From the parking lot at Watchman Overlook, head south a short distance to the obvious and wide trail listed here as Pacific Crest Trail Alternate North. Follow this trail for a short distance west as it slowly ascends. After about 0.3 miles, the trail to Watchman Peak diverges from Pacific Crest Trail Alternate North and turns slightly south while Pacific Crest Trail Alternate North will continue west.

Follow the trail to the peak as it begins ascending in earnest. Continue ascending through the switchbacks to where the trail ends at the peak. A fire lookout sits on top of The Watchman and serves as a museum, as well as a fire lookout. Check the park website for information regarding the operating schedule of the lookout.

The views at the top are expansive and offer a really good opportunity to see the lake as well as Wizard Island. This trail is popular, so expect crowds during peak travel seasons.

Contacts

Shared By:

Quin TCM

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 17 votes

#270

Overall
  4.7 from 17 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#3

in Oregon

#270

Overall
132 Views Last Month
5,301 Since Sep 14, 2015
Intermediate

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89%
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Photos

View from Watchman Lookout
Sep 14, 2015 near Crater…, OR
Watchman Overlook at Crater Lake National Park
Mar 31, 2020 near Crater…, OR
Hillman Peak and Crater Lake
Sep 14, 2015 near Crater…, OR

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Check-Ins

Aug 7, 2022
Malinda Kempton
Actually July 17, 2021
Aug 3, 2022
Tom H
Sep 10, 2021
Nicky Wholey
Aug 21, 2021
Chester Cooper
Jul 14, 2021
Tom Herr
Short hike up to fire spotting station on the lake rim. Beautiful views both in and out of the crater. Saw a wonderful sunset. 1.6mi
Jul 7, 2021
Stephanie Cairney
Sep 1, 2020
Jessica Jang
9-1-2020 hiked up with Hudson and Emily on a great trip to Crater Lake
Aug 20, 2020
Garrett Bryant