Crater Lakes — Saturday, Jul. 16, 2011
Crater Lake Trail was admittedly a last-minute, third-choice destination. When we discovered that the road to Libby Lake Trail was not currently accessible, our plan to plan to bag Hoodoo and Raven Ridge from Libby Lake switched to going for Mount Bigelow from Eagle Lake. But, then we thought that Bigelow's exposed class 3 scrambling might not be the best choice given uncertain state of snow coverage. So, Raven Ridge from Crater Lake? Sure, why not? Crater Lake Trail winds through average-looking second growth forest, with a few wildflowers in bloom along the way. Most notably, there were small, white shooting stars (dodecatheon) in bloom near the first crossing Crater Creek. The cold, clear stream looked promising for trout-fishing. We hit patchy snow around 6,000 feet. Nothing too substantial. We made camp at the far east end of the lake. In a week the prettier sites further in will dry enough. While the approach is likely more straightforward from Libby Lake, we did make Raven Ridge pretty easily from this side, taking off directly from our camp. The views from the top were lovely, spanning from the high peaks of the Central Cascades to the rolling hills of eastern Washington. Though there were cars in the parking lot, we encountered zero other users all weekend. No hikers, no motorcyclists. The trail is in reasonably good shape. There were a few downed trees to negotiate on our walk in, but several of them had been cleared by the time we walked out the next afternoon.