Great Hikes: Mount Scott Trail, Crater Lake NP

When you stand at the edge of the clear, deep blue waters of Crater Lake, your last instinct is to look up. If you do, however, you'll notice a tall peak in the southeast corner of the park. This is Mount Scott, the highest point in the area and the best spot for sweeping views of Crater Lake and surrounding features including Klamath Lake, Diamond Lake, Mount Thielsen, Mount Shasta and Mount McLoughlin. Named after Levi Scott, an early Oregon pioneer who helped develop Southern Oregon's Applegate Trail, this trail is one of the best ways to enjoy Crater Lake National Park without the crowds.

From the Mount Scott trailhead, you'll begin a gradual ascent to the summit of Oregon's tenth highest peak at 8,928 feet. The hike is particularly well known for the alpine flowers that spring up in the mid-late summer. The snow begins to fall around October, transforming the trail into a popular spot for snowshoe enthusiasts.

When you go, make sure to bring along a coat and other warm weather gear. It can be chilly and windy from the top, even in the summer.

Distance: 5 miles RT

Elevation Change: Approximately 1,000 feet.

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Duration: 3  hours

Best Time to Go: Mid- to late-July to see the high alpine wildflowers. Check the conditions before your trip to make sure the snow has melted. The trail becomes snowy starting in October.  

How to get there: The closest nearby airports are in Eugene and Medford, OR. Rent a car and drive to the Annie Spring Entrance Station of Crater Lake National Park. Continue four miles north to the park headquartesr and turn onto East Rim Drive. After 14 miles, watch for the trailhead on your right. For a better idea of the park layout, check out this map. 

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