I decided to change things up a little bit this weekend since the weather was clear and sunny at Crater Lake. I’ve got some snowshoes that don’t get used as much as they should during the winter months, so I took my friend Scott up to Crater Lake early this morning for a strenuous hike in the snow.
We were pretty much the only ones there when we first got there this morning. The only other group had stayed the night up at the Watchman Peak lookout and was just getting back the car when we arrived.
To get to Watchman Peak in the winter, you basically just follow West Rim Road for about 3 miles, then offroad your way up to the lookout. The guide that I found said that it was about 7.5 miles roundtrip from the Rim Village gift shop. The snow levels were pretty low for Crater Lake, though it was a warmish March day so it was kinda expected. Still, it was a cold enough night for there to be a frozen layer on everything, so we were glad to get there early before things got too slushy.
I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to make it all the way to the Watchman, so I was happy when we easily made it to Discovery Point.
After a little over 3 miles, we came around a bend and saw the snowshoe tracks going up the mountain, so we knew we’d arrived at the turnoff for Watchman Peak. It was just around the corner from the overlook that is very popular in the summer on the west rim.
In the end, this was a b**** of a hike that required high levels of perseverance and endurance. I didn’t bring my watch to track with the GPS, but it was definitely a lot of work and the snow didn’t make it any easier. Luckily, we were able to push ourselves to make it all the way to the top of Watchman Peak, a feat I didn’t even try in the summer.