After spending the morning driving the Rim Drive around Crater Lake and seeing the lake from all its glorious angles (see previous post), we had time to explore some non lake areas of the park. Crater Lake only makes up 10% of the park, so there is much to be explored besides the lake. We were able to fit in a couple of short hikes (think waterfalls and wildflowers!) before checking into the Mazama cabins.
Plaikni Falls Trail (Pinnacles Road)
This short easy 2 mile (round trip) hike took us to a beautiful waterfall, complete with wildflowers, butterflies and lush greenery. Although the weather was quite warm when we started the hike, the trail through the forest was nicely shaded and the hike turned out to be very pleasant. This trail is for everyone, I saw people of all ages and abilities, even families with strollers on this trail (it’s labeled as wheelchair accessible). The waterfall area at the end provides a nice shaded spot to rest and marvel at the scenery. This trail is very popular, but didn’t feel crowded. Maybe it felt a bit crowded at the waterfall, but people kept coming and going, so there were ebbs and flows of people.
Castle Crest Wildflower Trail
This trail is a very short and very pretty 0.5 mile loop that passes through a creek, wildflower meadow, and forest. Since this area is described as a wet meadow with plenty of water everywhere, there is plenty of lush vegetation … as well as PLENTY of mosquitos. So be prepared (unlike us), cover up and put your mosquito repellent on.
we counted our mosquito bites checked in to the Mazama cabins, we made our way to Annie Creek Falls Picnic area to have dinner.
Annie Creek Falls Picnic area
We found this “picnic area” about five miles south of Mazama Village. Maybe more picnic tables were hidden throughout the trees, but we only found two tables for this entire picnic area. Annie Creek Falls can be seen down a gorge (south side), but it’s far away and hard to see. Looking down the gorge is pretty, but on this particular day the smoke was thick and ominous.
This overlook is easily accessed from a pullout just a bit south of the entrance (south).
That night we stayed at the Mazama cabins and although it was nice to take a shower, I would have preferred to stay in our campervan. I think it was the general cleanliness of the room that didn’t sit well with me. The sheets and towels were clean enough, but the walls and windows could have benefitted from a wipe down. So, I don’t know if I could quite recommend staying at the cabins.
The following morning we headed to Lava Beds National Park …what…a…place! I can’t wait to post about it next!
If you’re interested, check out another post about our Crater Lake visit (Crater Lake National Park).