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East Crater

South Cascades

The East Crater Trail is a heavily used connector to the Pacific Crest Trail that also provides relatively easy access to the heart of the Indian Heaven Wilderness. Continue reading


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area
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5.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 900 ft.
Highest Point: 4900 ft.


3.40 out of 5

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  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites

WTA worked here in 2011 and 2010!

The East Crater Trail is a heavily used connector to the Pacific Crest Trail that also provides relatively easy access to the heart of the Indian Heaven Wilderness.

From the trailhead, climb steadily for 2.5 miles past small meadows, tarns, and plentiful huckleberry bushes. The trail ends at Junction Lake, where you can take a picnic break or continue on one of the adjoining trails to explore the area further.

WTA’s Volunteer Vacation crews have done significant restoration work on the trail over the years. Recently the crews teamed up with the U.S. Forest Service and local Backcountry Horseman to redirect the trail out of a seasonally water-logged area, creating a safe, dry, and durable trail surface for users to enjoy.

Extend Your Hike: Explore the many lakes in this area by extending your hike beyond Junction Lake. From Junction Lake, turn left to head south on the Pacific Crest Trail (Trail 2000) for 1.7 miles to Blue Lake, or turn right to take the Lemei Lake Trail (Trail 179) for about 1.5 miles to Lemei Lake.

Make a roughly four mile loop above Junction Lake by turning right from Junction Lake onto the Lemei Lake Trail, then left onto the Indian Heaven Trail above Clear Lake, and left again onto the Pacific Crest Trail back to Junction Lake.

Hike by WTA Community
Lace Thornberg

East Crater

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 45.9813, -121.7580 Open in Google Maps


South Cascades -- Mount Adams Area

East Crater (#48)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails 397 Wind River

Green Trails 365 Lone Butte

Getting There

From the Vancouver area, drive east on State Route 14 through the town of Stevenson. At milepost 47, take the Carson exit on your left. Proceed on Wind River Highway (may also be signed Forest Road 30 and/or Wind River Road) through the town of Carson. In 5.7 miles, turn right onto Old State Road. Drive only 0.1 mile and make a left turn onto Panther Creek Road (FSR 65). Drive north on Forest Service Road 65 for 10.8 miles to the intersection of FSR 65 and FSR 60 / Carson Guler Road. Turn right and follow FSR 60 for 6.5 miles to Goose Lake. About 0.5 miles past Goose Lake, take a left onto FSR 6040 (FSR 6621 is on your right). Continue for 1.4 miles, keeping right at a fork in the road. Past the fork, continue another 2.2 miles. Turn left onto Forlorn Lakes Road / FSR 6035 and continue another 2.2 miles to the trailhead on your left.


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East Crater

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