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Little Crater Lake Trail - No. 500

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Mt. Hood National Forest
70220 E. Hwy. 26
Zigzag, OR 97049
0.3 mile one-way
30 mins
Trailhead Elevation:
3800 feet
Late May to early November


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. 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.

0.3 mile one-way
30 mins
Trailhead Elevation:
Late May to early November
Basic Directions

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 rd. 58. Turn right and head west on rd. 58 for 2 mi. to Little Crater Lake Campground. Turn into campground and follow the road to the trailhead.

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