Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

Spring is a great time to go for a hike and see wildflowers in Shenandoah National Park. This time, we decided on a hike to Rapidan Camp in the Central District. The camp was a summer getaway for President Herbert Hoover between 1929 and 1933. It is also important as it helped initiate the construction of Skyline Drive. In 1933, the Hoovers donated the land to Shenandoah National Park. It was later used as both a boy scout camp and…

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Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Crater Lake National Park

Our trip to Crater Lake National Park was an adventure. We’ve captured our favorite hikes, dislikes, what we wished we had done, and other tips. Here are our takeaways – we hope you can use it as a planning guide for your visit to Crater Lake. We also provide information about weather and visitation statistics to consider when planning any trip. Overview A little known fact: Crater Lake is the fifth oldest national park in the United States. It was…

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Restaurants & Accommodations

Restaurants & Accommodations

Crater Lake National Park

There are no large towns near Crater Lake National Park, so choices for local restaurants and accommodations are limited. Here’s what we experienced both inside and outside the park. If you’re interested in car camping, there are two campgrounds in the park – check out our Mazama Campground post for more info. Note: This trip was back in 2017 when the park’s concessionaire was Xanterra. It’s now Aramark, so options inside the park may have changed. There’s only one hotel…

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Garfield Peak Trail

Garfield Peak Trail

Crater Lake National Park

On our final day in Crater Lake National Park, we checked out of Crater Lake Lodge, and simply walked to our trail. Garfield Peak Trail begins just off of Rim Village Drive adjacent to the lodge, though we wouldn’t reach the trailhead sign for 0.2 miles. With easy access from the lake’s south rim, the trail is convenient and popular. Garfield Peak was named after James Rudolph Garfield, who was Secretary of the Interior when the park was established in…

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Watchman Peak Trail

Watchman Peak Trail

Crater Lake National Park

Visiting Crater Lake National Park in late July means dealing with snow. Yes, somewhat hard to believe, but it’s true. When we arrived in the park, some hikes were still closed due to snow. Luckily for us, a park ranger we met on our lake tour mentioned that Watchman Peak had opened two days ago! So that’s where we headed that afternoon. Watchman Peak Trail is a 1.7 mile out and back hike with views of Crater lake, including the…

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Cleetwood Cove Trail and Boat Tour

Cleetwood Cove Trail and Boat Tour

Crater Lake National Park

Planning and Disappointments One activity we wanted to do in Crater Lake National Park was to get out on Crater Lake itself. The park does tours of the lake, and also has shuttles to Wizard Island. The island is a 316-acre landmass within Crater Lake and has several hiking trails. Months before our visit, we reserved tickets for the boat tour, including the Wizard Island shuttle. Visitors can only get to the shoreline of Crater Lake via a steep 2.1…

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Plaikni Falls & Pinnacles Trails

Plaikni Falls & Pinnacles Trails

Crater Lake National Park

Pinnacles Road runs through the southeast part of Crater Lake National Park. This road was once the eastern entrance to the park, but has fallen into disuse. Along the road are a couple of must-see attractions: Plaikni Falls and the Pinnacles. Plaikni Falls Trail, a 2.0 mile hike dotted with wildflowers, ends at a waterfall. Pinnacles Trail is a unique 0.8 mile hike that features pumice spires, remnants from the area’s volcanic past. We had just finished hiking Mount Scott,…

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Mount Scott Trail

Mount Scott Trail

Crater Lake National Park

So far in Crater Lake National Park, we had hiked some lesser known trails like Boundary Springs. It was finally time to do some more “popular” hikes. Today we decided to hike Mount Scott, a 4.3 mile out and back trail located on the eastern side of the park. The trail ascends 1318 feet, and features views of Crater Lake and the surrounding mountains. Mount Scott is the highest point in Crater Lake National Park at 8929 feet and is…

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Boundary Springs Trail

Boundary Springs Trail

Crater Lake National Park

The average July rainfall in Crater Lake National Park is around one inch, the lowest of the year. So, it was just our luck that it was raining on our first few days in the park. We wanted to go backpacking in the northwestern section of the park (on Bald Crater Loop), but the rain and threat of thunderstorms put a stop to that. Instead, we decided on a 5.4 mile out-and-back dayhike to Boundary Springs. Boundary Springs Trail is…

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Mazama Campground

Mazama Campground

Crater Lake National Park

Our drive from Redwood National & State Parks to Crater Lake National Park was uneventful, other than a few stops to see some carnivorous plants and wildflowers. We spent seven days in the park, which was enough time to see *almost* everything. Our plan was to spend three nights at Mazama Campground on the southern side of the park. Mazama is the largest and most centrally-located campground in the park. When we visited, it was managed by Xanterra, a concessioner…

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