Little Crater Trail #500

Trail Highlights

This trail goes through Little Crater Meadow and on to Little Crater Lake and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Little Crater Lake is 45� ft. deep and spring-fed from the bottom as well as from Little Crater Creek. The lake is a beautiful crystal blue color once the early spring tannins have washed out. It remains near 34 degrees Fahrenheit year round because of the properties of the aquifer that feed it. Sandhill Cranes are sometimes seen in the area.

Trail Description

The trail is flat all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail. It is a barrier-free paved trail from the trailhead across the meadow to Little Crater Lake where a viewing platform is present.

Regulations & Leave No Trace Information

Leave No Trace Principles
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare Be Considerate of Other Visitors
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Leave What You Find
  • Dispose of Waste Properly Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife

While it is tempting to hang out around the edge of the lake, this has a significant impact to the shoreline. Please stay on the developed trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Take U.S. 26 a distance of 9 miles southeast of the U.S. 26 / 35 junction. Turn right (south) on Skyline Road (Rd 42) for 4 mi. to its junction with Road 58. Turn right and head west on Road 58 for 2 mi. to Little Crater Lake Campground. Turn into campground and follow the road to the trailhead.


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Northwest Forest Pass Not required
Distance 0.3 Mile one way
Elevation 3800'
Snow Free Late May to Early November
Difficulty Easier
Uses Hikers, Bikes, Wheelchair Accessible