“Despite the name, this isn't a fantasy, even though the surroundings appear to suggest it.”
— QuinTCM TCM
Lake · Swimming · Views
Though the trail may seem steep, the views at the top are great and climbing down inside the Witches Caldron is a lot of fun.
Enjoy astounding views of Crater Lake from atop the magnificent Wizzard island.
The approach for this trail includes a multi-mile boat ride across Crater Lake. Boat rides can be reserved ahead of time and are seasonal and dependent on conditions, so be sure to check the park website as well as the website for Crater Lake National Park Lodges for current information.
To begin the hike, take Cleetwood Cove Trail
, the only trail that provides access to the lake, down to Cleetwood Cove and the boat landing. Cleetwood Cove Trail
is located along East Rim Drive and a rather large parking lot is located directly across from the trailhead. If this parking lot fills up, people often park their vehicles along the park road.
At the bottom of Cleetwood Cove Trail
, board one of the boats at your designated time and sit back and relax until you arrive at Wizard Island. Depending on the option selected, the boat ride can be short and direct to Wizard Island or can include a boat tour of the lake with a ranger explaining the lakes history and major features.
The boat will arrive at Wizard Island and the trailhead for both the summit and Fumarole Bay Trail
begin at the end of the dock. The trail is well maintained with signs that are easy to follow. Initially, the trail passes over very rough volcanic rock through a forest of trees that provide good shade. The trail will also fork early on. The northwest fork is the Fumarole Bay Trail
Stay on the northeast trail and continue heading up. Eventually, the trail begins moving up the side of the cinder cone that formed Wizard Island, the trees become more sparse and the trail more loose. Follow the trail as it switches back and forth several times to where it ends at the top of the cinder cone.
At the top, the trail goes all the way around the crater of the cinder cone. The crater is called the Witches Caldron. Be sure to go into the Witches Caldron using one of the obvious trails. The trails into the Witches Caldron are a lot steeper and looser, however, than the trail to the summit.
Go back the way you came to return to the boat dock.