Departing from rustic Crater Lake Lodge, the hiking trail up to Garfield Peak is ‘quick and dirty’ or short and steep, depending on how you want to characterize it. Certainly not for everyone who visits Crater Lake, the 1.7-mile switchback trail gains just under 1,000 vertical feet to make it to the highest* trail-accessible point along the lake’s impressive rim.
After passing numerous wildflower-covered pumice slopes filled with phlox, red paintbrush, yellow-flowered buckwheat, and rock penstemon, you’ll arrive at the 8,054-foot summit. From Garfield Peak’s summit, panoramic views capture all of Crater Lake and extend as far north as Diamond Peak and the Three Sisters; views south include the Klamath basin, Mount McLoughlin, and Mount Shasta on clear days.
* At 8,151 feet, Hillman Peak is the highest point on Crater Lake's rim, with 8,126-foot Applegate Peak in second and 8,106-foot Dutton Cliff following in third. Garfield Peak is the only one of the four that is accessible by trail.