Our Monday group consisted of 8 leaving from Ashland and 4 more meeting us in front of Crater Lodge.
The day was mild with temps in the 60s and partly cloudy.
The 1076' elevation gain on the 1.75 mile Garfield Peak Trail was great for getting the heart pumping and for rising above the smoky haze in the region.
The trail starts out paved by the lodge and grows more rugged as it ascends to the summit.
There were many chances to view the lake on the way up; and the clouds opened to let in more sun.
There was an occasional refreshing breeze going up the trail, but surprisingly it was calm on top of the peak(7976') for lunch.
It's a short but scenic hike just 3.5 miles RT with many photo opportunities, including a Black Shouldered Hawk that swooped down across the trail and posed on top of a tree.
We stopped at Annie Creek Cafe near the park exit for post hike refreshments.