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Wizard Island Summit Trail

Crater Lake National Park

Southern Oregon Cascades, Oregon

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Wizard Island Summit Trail

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  • Ascending almost 700 feet in less than a mile, the conical Wizard Island is a volcano within a volcano.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • Large lava rocks turn to loose gravel as you climb the switchbacks on the trail to Wizard Island's 6,940-foot peak.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • A view of Fumarole Bay just before summiting Wizard Island.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • A dark lava flow extends off of the west side of Wizard Island with Fumarole Bay lying to the left.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • Deceased whitebark pines killed by blister rust disease stand out even more starkly along the rim of Wizard Island.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • A westerly view into the 90-foot deep caldera of Wizard Island, where you can discern a worn path leading to the bottom.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • Bright red lava rock along the northeastern side of Wizard Island.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • An eastward view into the island's caldera.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • The incredible colors and contrasts of Crater Lake come alive from the summit of Wizard Island.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • A typically indistinguishable and treacherous path along the route to and from Fumarole Bay.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
  • It's a steep scramble over loose rocks down to the water's edge.- Wizard Island Summit Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views of Crater Lake from the top of a volcano within a volcano. Fishing and swimming once you return to the water's edge.
Cons: 
Steep trail. You must pay for a guided boat tour to the island.
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Region:
Southern Oregon Cascades, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
0.90 mi (1.45 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
6,175 ft (1,882 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
698 ft (213 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy until evening.
46°F
30°

Sun

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
55°F
37°

Mon

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
56°F
40°

Tue

Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
63°F
42°

Wed

Partly cloudy until afternoon.
69°F
44°

Thu

Clear throughout the day.
70°F
48°

Fri

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
65°F
49°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The only way to get to Wizard Island is via the Crater Lake Boat Tour. The first and only stop on designated trips, you have the option of a three-hour, half-day drop-off or a full-day, six-hour stay. The trail to the summit begins as soon as you step off the dock.

Your scramble will start among the conifers as you move over large, treacherous lava rocks and continue onto loose gravel that persists through the switchbacks. Gaining almost 700 feet in elevation in less than a mile, the hike is all uphill. Your reward is a singular experience, for not only will you be able to say you've stood atop a caldera within a caldera, you'll have the opportunity to climb down 90 feet to the bottom of Wizard Island's crater. (There's not an officially marked trail, but a worn path near the summit trail heads down the loose gravel into the former belly of a volcano.)

On top of Wizard Island, you can enjoy panoramic views of Crater Lake from the inside as you make a loop around the crater summit. Unless you're the first hiker of the day to summit the 6,940-foot peak, you'll likely encounter some moderate crowds. Once you meander away from the apex, however, the island is very secluded and solitary.

Now that you've worked up a sweat, work your way back down and consider a swim in the pristine waters of Crater Lake. You can explore the rocky reaches of the island along the trail to Fumarole Bay, which branches off from the summit trail just up from the dock, but the trail is less than well-marked and you eventually need to forge your own way over the lava rocks. Much of the island's shoreline is very steep and rocky, so be careful. This means the easiest place to dive in may be at the dock. Remember: once the boat drops you off on the island, you're all alone.

Fishing is also an available activity. Although not native to the lake, fish were introduced and stocked by the park's forefather, William G. Steel, starting in the late 19th century. This continued for more than 50 years, and at present two fish species exist: the more numerous kokanee salmon and the larger rainbow trout. No permit is required, and you can take home as much as you want as long as you do not use organic bait (only artificial lures and flies are allowed) and clean your catch away from the lake.

While beautifully unique, just be sure to get back in time for you return ride so you don't get stranded on Wizard Island.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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(31 within a 30 mile radius)

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