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“Only Legal Access to Crater Lake” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cleetwood Cove Trail

Cleetwood Cove Trail
Crater Lake National Park, Crater Lake National Park, OR
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Type: Outdoors
Attraction details
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
137 attraction reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
344 helpful votes 344 helpful votes
“Only Legal Access to Crater Lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only legal access to the lake. The trail runs from the north side of rim down to the lake at the boat dock. In about 1.1 miles, the trail gains/loses about 700 feet of elevation. It's not so bad going down, but you will definitely feel it coming back up. We hiked this trail down and back up to catch the boat tour and Wizard Island Tour, probably the most common reason for hiking this trail. But even if you're not going on the tour, it's worth it to get down to the lake and touch the chilly blue waters of Crater Lake. Just take your time, particularly when going back up, and bring plenty of water. If you reach the bottom and don't have enough water, you can get a refill from the lake. Normally, I would never drink untreated water, but a ranger on the tour told us that the water in Crater Lake is clean enough to drink. Not only that, but it's very cold and tasted much better than tap water from the hotel. Much too cold for me to go swimming, but if you don't mind chilly water, this is the only spot to take a dip in the lake. Once again, this is the only legal way to access the lake. The drop from the rim to the lake is extremely steep and if you attempt to go down anywhere else, there's a good chance you could die. And if you survive, expect a citation from the park rangers, so stick to the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

Visited September 2013
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English first
Sheridan, Wyoming
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A hike to remember!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

This is the only legal access to Cater Lake shore. The trail is 1.1 miles, which isn't far, but the drop in elevation is 700 feet. The hike down to the lake took us 30 minutes. The hike up to the top took us 1 3/4 hours. We took several breaks to rest and visit with a new hiking friend. It is well worth the hike. The scenery from the trial is beautiful and the boat ride is the only way to really experience Crater Lake. Wear good walking shoes and take plenty of water. A walking stick helps 60+ hikers.

Visited August 2013
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Larkspur, Colorado
Top Contributor
331 reviews 331 reviews
176 attraction reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
“Pace Yourself For Spectacular Views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

This is the path you must go on in order to catch your boat ride to either Wizard Island or just around Crater Lake. The going down was not so bad, it's the coming up that is very steep. If you are not in great physical condition, I do not recommend it, but you could just go down part way and then come back up.

I took my time coming back up and of course snapped many photos along the way. Allow yourself plenty of time as it take about 30-40 minutes to go down and a little longer coming back up. The trail is very dusty so bring sturdy shoes not flip flops like some of the hikers who regretted it did.

Many people that did this hike just went down to the lake to take a dip and did not do this boat ride. Either way this trail is awesome and highly recommended.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medford, Oregon
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Hard, But Worth It”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

The trip down is super easy and fun, and the water at the bottom is amazing, but the trip back up will end you if you're not in half decent shape.

Visited July 2013
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Sonoma, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Give yourself a workout.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

This 1.1 mile trail drops one thousand feet from the top of the crater to the lakeshore below. The whole trip down my eyes were filled with wonderment, as I gazed upon this grand collage of blues with puffy white clouds reflected in the waters below. I loved the challenge of the steep climb back up the steep walls of Crater Lake's Caldera, as well.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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