Two Must See Wildflower Meadow and Waterfall Hikes At Crater Lake

Written by: Paris Barton



Time to read 2 min

Two Easy, Accessible, and Beautiful Hikes At Crater Lake

Crater Lake is one of the many wonders of Oregon. Even through the saturation of tourists in the summer months, its beauty is unmatched. Last August, my partner and I got the chance to visit Crater Lake for the first time. Growing up in Oregon, it had been on my bucket list all my life. Although just a two day stop on our way to the Redwoods, we were able to go on a few hikes and explore a bit of the magic Crater Lake has to offer!

This trip we prioritized some shorter hikes try and fit in as many different adventures as possible. Out of all we did, two hikes stood out to us as ones we would definitely need to come back time and time again for. Not only were they both accessible and beginner friendly, but both had very different, very beautiful scenery. If you are a lover of nature, a beginner to moderate hiker, love wild flower meadows, and love waterfalls - these two hikes are perfect for your next trip to Crater Lake.

Castle Crest Trail: Crater Lake's Wild Flower Meadows

The first hike we went on was the Castle Crest Trail. This Crater Lake Hike is known for its gorgeous wildflower meadow. Hike may be a little generous, since for us it was more of a steady .5 mile walk with minor uphill. The entrance, for us, was a little tricky to locate at first, but we ended up parking at the post office and walking to the entrance just across the street. The hike starts with a short walk through some trees and leads you to an entrance to a calm meadow field. As you climb along the path, there are little streams of water going through the stone path. The farther along you go, the more you are surrounded by vibrant green grass and wildflowers. Pools of clear water gather around the path and lead to a steady stream that flanks the path the last third of the hike. We spotted deer resting in the fields as well as countless hummingbirds. This hike truly felt like something out of a fairytale and we can't wait to experience it again this summer.

To learn more about the Castle Crest Hike at Crater Lake, you can visit the National Parks Service here.

Image collage of wildflower meadow and stream at Castle Crest Trail
Collage of images of wildflower meadows and a deer at Castle Crest Hike

Plaikni Falls: One of Crater Lake's Most Beautiful Waterfalls

At just about 2 miles, the Plaikni Falls hike is perfect for beginner to moderate hikers looking for a gorgeous trail ending with a spectacular waterfall. Not only is the drive to this hike stunning, but the scenery surrounding the trail is unreal. Tall trees guide hikers as they walk down a winding dirt path, surrounded by brush and birds and other nature friends. The trails becomes a little narrow and uphill near the end as it leads you to the grand finale. Although accessible to all terrain wheelchairs, it may be a little tricky navigating the end trail in a wheelchair with how narrow the path was. Once reaching the end, the path becomes a small clearing and allows hikers to get very close to the waterfall. The stream of water cascades past the path, and offers a nice cool down on a hot day. When we reached the end, we spotted a beaver as well as many kinds of birds. The trees surrounding the end of the trail and waterfall were full of fluttering butterflies. To say this out and back hike was magical is an understatement. For anyone who loves a waterfall hike and the opportunity for some nature watching, this Crater Lake Hike is a must.

To learn more about the Plaikni Falls Hike at Crater Lake, you can visit the National Parks Service here.

Collage of images of waterfalls and scenery at Plaikni Falls Trail
Collage of images of scenery at Plaikni Falls Trail