Added by Cassidy Walker
Hike along several miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) before scrambling up Union Peak, towering over Crater Lake National Park. This trail is not commonly used, as it lies outside of the park entrance, and so is not as well known. If you're lucky, you may catch the occasional thru-hiker making their way into the park!
The trailhead is located across Highway 62, on the opposite side of the highway from the Crater Lake National Park entrance at Mazama Village. Look for a road sign indicating parking for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Start on the PCT: Highway 140 to Highway 138 (near Cascade Crest), hiking several gentle miles with virtually no elevation gain. Eventually, a fork in the trail with a well-maintained sign points you in several directions. Going straight here would keep you on the PCT, so take a right onto the Union Peak Spur Trail, which leads to the summit.
After branching off of the PCT, this trail moves through a lodgepole pine forest with very moderate grades. The peak materializes instantly, as if from nowhere. Upon approaching Union Peak is when the workout begins! Start off stair-stepping up large rocks, and before you know it you'll be scrambling up the side of the peak. From the top of Union Peak comes panoramic views of the surrounding area. You'll be able to see some of Crater Lake's Caldera, but not the lake itself. Just don't look down!
This hike is a total of 11 miles round trip with 1600' of elevation gain, almost entirely in the last two miles.
- Two liters of water
- Sturdy boots
- Sun protection
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Climb to Mt. Hood's Illumination Rock
Oregon / Timberline Lodge
The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of beautiful, technical and fun Alpine ascents.
Hike the Summit Trail Loop at Smith Rock
Oregon / Smith Rock Parking Area
Smith Rock State Park is an iconic PNW canyon that's become one of the rock climbing capitals of the country, and known worldwide for its sport climbing routes.