Plaikni translates from Klamath as "from the high country," and the falls were named for their origin high on the volcano's slopes. Tucked away on the southeastern side of Mount Mazama, this short hike to Plaikni Falls is Crater Lake National Park's newest, opened in 2011, but it is also one of the more remote hikes, making it an ideal stop for those seeking a break from the crowds visiting the caldera's rim. Signage at the trailhead explains the fascinating origin of the falls:
The high country receives an average yearly snowfall of 44 feet, and this melting snow percolates through loose volcanic soil, hits an impermeable layer, and surfaces as a spring. One spring forms Sand Creek, which cascades down as Plaikni Falls.
Note: The Plaikni Falls Trail is easily accessible and features a hard-packed surface (not paved) and turnouts for those using a wheelchair, similar to the trail at Godfrey Glen. Also note that the Rim Drive East is closed during the winter season and sometimes as late as early July due to snow-pack.