Little Crater Lake, Oregon

Monday, August 29, 2011

 On Friday evening we braved the Hood to Coast traffic jam (there wasn’t one!) and headed up to Little Crater Lake on Mt. Hood. We were a bit nervous about the traffic we thought we’d encounter since the Hood To Coast Race started at 3:30 that morning, but by the time we got going, it was just the last of the runners making their way down the mountain. It made for an entertaining drive watching the runners in costumes pass by.

Our site, tucked in the trees.

Those long summer nights that we have grown accustomed to have certainly grown shorter as summer turns to fall! We arrived at camp shortly after 8 p.m. and found ourselves putting up camp by the light of one small flashlight that we brought along.

View from back.

Little Crater Lake is a very small campground – just 14 sites – operated by the National Forest Service. There are no hook-ups and even water is accessed by a hand pump at the entrance. It was beautiful though! The sites were large and private, and aside from the pesky mosquitoes that are always present on Hood, the campground was one I’ll return to again and again!

Little Crater Lake itself is actually more of a large pond than a lake. You arrive at the site by a short .25 mile walk through a golden meadow that opens up to a forested area. Little Crater Lake is spring fed and the water temperature is 34 degrees year round. The water is amazingly clear, allowing you to see down all thirty feet to the bottom. Continuing past Little Crater Lake you join the Pacific Coast Trail and a trail that leads you to the much larger Timothy Lake. It’s a beautiful hike through meadows and old growth forests!

Little Crater Lake…clear, blue waters!

Perfectly still morning.


Breakfast at the camp

Paddling around Timothy Lake

Looking forward to a return trip!