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.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Two liters of water
  • Sturdy boots
  • Camera
  • Sun protection
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 11 Miles
Elevation Gain 1600 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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