Black Crater

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Black Crater


  • Most of the Black Crater Trail climbs up through the forest.- Black Crater
  • The upper trail gradually traverses atop lava.- Black Crater
  • Near the top, the trail traverses lovely red cinder.- Black Crater
  • Views from the Black Crater summit area toward Broken Top (9,177'), the Middle Sister (10,047'), and the North Sister (10,085').- Black Crater
  • Twisted, weathered whitebark pine is a good sign you're almost there. Mount Washington (7,795') in the distance.- Black Crater
  • The summit once housed a fire tower. Today, this wire is most of what remains.- Black Crater
  • - Black Crater
Overview + Weather
Tremendous views. Unique rock garden near the summit.
May be blocked by snow in early in the season.
Central Oregon, OR
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,500.00 ft (762.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
7.80 mi (12.55 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,800.00 ft (1,463.04 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

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.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(55 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(151 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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232 Adventures Explored
122 Adventures Published

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