From Mazama Village, the official PCT skirts around Crater Lake and continues north. However, why come all that way without actually looking into the crater? Instead, nearly all hikers take an alternate route that climbs up to the Rim Village then follows the crater Rim trail for about 7 miles before reuniting with the official trail again. Of course I took the alternate.
Huck and I left camp around 6:30 am and got to the Rim Village cafe half an hour before it opened. We hung around waiting and in the meantime, Fox and Rocky Point arrived. The four of us got coffee and snacks then set off on the rim trail. It was spectacular!! My words can’t describe the scene well enough, but hopefully these pictures can.
We took our time along the rim, really enjoying the views and taking a lot of pictures. It was a very relaxing morning.
From the cafe it was nearly 20 miles to the next water source but it finally wasn’t so hot and sunny so I only carries 3 liters of water and that was enough.
In the afternoon we got down to business and put in some real miles. To pass the time, we played some tricks games, seeing who could name the most state capitals or answer random questions. It was nice to hike in a group again. Even though Crater Lake was the highlight of the day, we still saw some interesting sights.
At one point Huck, who was leading, started walking very fast and the rest of us couldn’t keep up. We lost him for a few hours but eventually caught up when we got to a campsite just after a creek.