The rocky, cinder-strewn top of Black Crater briefly served as a fire lookout site for the Forest Service in the 1920s. Today, just a few remnants are left atop the summit. From the top, all of Central Oregon unfolds in front of the hiker's eyes. The huge lava flow from Little Belknap Crater, all the central Cascade volcanoes, and Oregon's high desert plateau are visible on a clear day. While much of the trail ascends through a dry forest with no significant views or notable flowers, the top portion of the trail more than makes up for the monotony. Once the trail approaches treeline, colorful flowers burst through the rocky soil. Trees part to provide views of Mount Washington and the Three Sisters. And the stark beauty of the summit plateau is easily the highlight of the hike.