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  • Writer's pictureLiv

Watchman Peak Trail

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

The Quest For the Best View of Wizard Island in Crater Lake


Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America, filling a nearly 2,148-foot deep caldera formed almost eight thousand years ago when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed. The iconic crater lake is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity.

We really didn't have a plan except to go there. We had no idea we'd discover what we consider to be the Best View of Wizard Island.


  • Trekking Poles

  • Ahnu Hiking Boots

  • Osprey Day Pack

  • Liv's Classic Poor Attitude


We drove into Crater Lake in the early morning and parked in one of the many pull outs on the side of the road for sunrise. Across the Universe was an appropriate soundtrack for sunrise over the clear blue lake. We got lucky with the weather and the clouds parted just enough to let the sun peak through.

After sunrise, we drove to the Watchman Peak Trailhead to find that the entire trail was under at least 6 feet of snow. This did not discourage us. Tay and I bundled ourselves up, grabbed our trekking poles and started up the tree-covered mountain towards the peak.

The trail is relatively short — only 1.6 miles out and back — but the deep snow slowed our hiking time. After a short distance we began to identify the switchbacks leading up to the peak of the Watchman.

At the peak sat a rustic structure with signs cautioning entry. We explored the outside of the structure and walked up to the stone walls overlooking Crater Lake. It was beautiful and more so, we had the entire place to ourselves.

We explored other areas of Crater Lake but none came close to as clear a view of Wizard Island and the lake itself than the Watchman.

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