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Little Crater Lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

At Little Crater Lake (bobcat)
View into Little Crater Lake (bobcat)
Boardwalk across meadow leading to Little Crater Lake (Jerry Adams)


Little Crater Lake is a beautiful artesian spring surrounded by lush meadows. The lake was formed by dissolving siltstone when water from the aquifer below was forced up through a fault line. The spring has enlarged the opening and worn through the layer of siltstone to a gravel layer 45 feet below. The water temperature here is cold - a constant 34 degrees throughout the year.

The Little Crater Lake Geological Area is fenced to keep cattle out. Be prepared for mosquitoes, especially early in the summer. You can inspect the surrounding Little Crater Meadows for wildflowers in the early summer and look for huckleberries in August.

Little Crater Lake is less than a quarter of a mile from the Pacific Crest-Little Crater Lake Trail Junction and 250 yards from the Little Crater Lake Trailhead and Campground. The campground is fairly primitive, with toilets but no drinking water.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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