Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
399.00 ft (121.62 m)
Trail type
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Watchman peak offers one of the highest accessible viewpoints on Crater Lake's caldera rim, second only to Garfield Peak.  

The first part of the trail follows the level roadbed of the original Rim Drive. After leaving the road you will start your trek southeast through mountain hemlock and whitebark pines. After a short distance the trail starts to switchback and you'll begin climbing a steep and rocky path until it reaches the peak and the fire lookout station. Sitting at 8,013 feet, the lookout station has been used for surveillance of the surrounding forests since 1932 and is still in use today.

An overlook beside the fire lookout affords excellent aerial views of the lake, the caldera, Wizard Island, and distant peaks including Mount Thielsen and Mount Shasta.

Note: Snowpack can remain on the trail into July.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Great views.


Large crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

7,579.00 ft (2,310.08 m)


Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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