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Little Crater Lake

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Little Crater Lake

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  • Wildflower meadow near Little Crater Lake.- Little Crater Lake
  • Wildflower meadow near Little Crater Lake.- Little Crater Lake
  • Trail from Little Crater Lake toward Timothy Lake with California corn lilies and lupine.- Little Crater Lake
  • California corn lily (Veratrum californicum).- Little Crater Lake
  • California corn lily (Veratrum californicum).- Little Crater Lake
  • Western bistort (Polygonum Bistortoides).- Little Crater Lake
  • Little Crater Lake.- Little Crater Lake
  • Little Crater Lake.- Little Crater Lake
  • Little Crater Lake.- Little Crater Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Crystal Clear lake. Wildflower meadows. Numerous nearby camping options.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Here's an interesting fact: Crater Lake, the deepest lake in North America and Oregon's only National Park, is roughly 280,000 times larger than Little Crater Lake.  Nevertheless, this little gem is certainly worthy of a visit.  Similar to its larger, more famous counterpart, this lake is impressively deep for its size (45 feet) and it has remarkably clear waters.  Unlike Crater Lake, however, this meadow spring wasn’t formed by volcanic action.  The origin of Little Crater Lake was a suppressed layer of pressurized water that reached the surface when a minor fault in the earth slipped and formed a crack.  As the crack formed and the water was pushed upward, the ground’s top layer of softer siltstone was slowly eroded, eventually creating the present day Little Crater Lake.

Late June or early July is a great time to visit the lake, when the adjacent meadows are fully lit up with incredible wildflowers such as California corn lily, Arctic lupine and western bistort.  And don’t miss Timothy Lake and Clackamas Lake, the area's other hidden aquatic treasure and headwaters to the Clackamas River.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(62 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(117 within a 30 mile radius)

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