Hike 76
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Little Crater Lake Hike
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Map of the Little Crater Lake Hike

Length: 1/2 mi RT
Elevation Change: None
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:    Easy
Permit: NW Forest Pass Not Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

Here is an interesting little hike that I never intended to hike and never thought worth putting on my hiking guide CD. Boy, was I wrong. This is a wonderful little family hike and is also wheelchair accessable.

A paved road takes you to the trailhead and a paved trail takes you to this small wonder of the world. The quarter mile walk to the lake edge crosses an open swampy area before it passes briefly though a small grove of trees. There is an informative sign at the lake edge, explaining how they think this pool came into existence. The sign also cautions you to not let pets or people in this nearly freezing body of water.

The water is extremely pure and extremely cold, averaging only a few degrees above freezing. This causes the water to have an incredibly beautiful color even though it is extremely clear. The pool is about 40 feet deep and about a hundred feet across. They think that was caused by an underground water source creating a cavern into which the entire surface collapsed. There are the remains of trees that fell in with it, so this hole probably isn't ancient. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful little lake set in a wonderful meadow. I highly recommend this hike for the whole family.

Little Crater Lake
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

Directions from Sandy: Travel southeast on Highway 26 past Government Camp and Frog Lake to Primary Forest Route 42. Follow 42 south to Primary Forest Route 58 (approximately 1.5 miles into the Warm Springs Indian Reservation). Follow 58 northwest for approximately two miles to the campground.

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