We recently spent a weekend in South Oregon, where we split our days between Crater Lake National Park and Umpqua National Forest. Crater Lake is not easy to get to (a regional flight, a 2 hour drive to the Airbnb, another hour long drive to the NP) so we wanted to make sure we packed the entire day to see everything there is to see!
Our Schedule !!!
Sunrise at Discovery Point
Most people will watch sunrise from Watchman Overlook (your back will be against the sunrise) or Cloud Cap Overlook (you will be facing the sun), but we wanted to watch from Discovery Point, where the sun comes from your right. You're also a bit closer to Wizard Island than from Watchman Overlook so it's a great spot. We were completely alone for a Saturday sunrise too which made it extra special.
Hike Mount Scott
Mount Scott has the highest views of Crater Lake. It's a short 4.5 mile hike but at 1,200 ft elevation change it is no joke! We only passed one other person coming up at 7AM in the morning and had the entire views to ourselves. On the way down, we passed a few more groups.
Walk to Plaikni Falls
On your way back to the Crater Lake Lodge (the only place to get food in Crater Lake), make a pit stop at Plaikni Falls, a short and flat 2 mile walk . This was a really relaxing walk and could be done in Chacos. The falls itself were really pretty with wildflowers and green shrubs around.
Lunch at Crater Lake Lodge
Crater Lake Lodge has surprisingly good food for having essentially a monopoly on food in the area. There is an outdoor patio where you can sit and relax, overlooking the lake. You don't have to order any food or pay either which is great.
Hike Garfield Peak
Ok we were originally going to hike Garfield Peak.. but the smoke from Holy Fire rolled in and made the air super thick with poor visibility. So we bailed and decided to go to Cleetwood Cove instead
Cleetwood Cove Trail
The famous "jump into Crater Lake photo!" I was afraid of the cold and didn't end up going. But my friends did and I captured a great shot of them :)