Crater Lake - Mount Scott - Plaikni Falls - Pinnacles 9-13-23

Photos by Francie

Ashland Hiking Home

On Wednesday September 13th five hikers drove up to Crater Lake National Park along the east rim. We made a quick stop to look at Vidae Falls. This is a spring-fed waterfall that spills in 3 steps over 100 feet off a forested ridge.

Our second stop was Mount Scott, a small stratovolcano with an elevation of 8,938 feet and around 1,200 feet of elevation gain in a little less than 2.25 miles. We headed up the trail with a lot of pumice and walked by mountain hemlock. We could see Mount McLoughlin, Union Peak, Mount Shasta and Klamath Lake. There is a series of switchbacks that lead to an overlook. We made a quick stop and noticed all of the surrounding mountains to the north. We continued up the trail and could see all of Crater Lake as we walked along the ridgeline and up to the fire lookout at the summit. We took our time to have lunch and enjoy the views. We could see Mount Bailey, Diamond Lake, Mount Thielsen, Howlock Mountain, Tipsoo Peak, Cowhorn, Diamond Peak, Mount Bachelor and the Three Sisters. We headed back down so we could continue our sampling of the east rim.

The next stop was a short 1 mile trail to Plaikni Falls which was constructed in 2011. As we walked along the wide and fairly flat trail, we came to a rock wall. Bob explained to us most of this was likely formed before the eruption of Mount Mazama. We continued along the trail and could see the remnants of Pine Drop, Candy Stick and Coralroot. We arrived at the falls that plunges around 20 feet. The air was fresh and our surroundings beautiful.

We then headed to the Pinnacles where we viewed spires of hardened volcanic matter that are exposed via erosion along a canyon. We only checked out the first quarter of a mile of the .8 mile trail because we wanted to stop at Castle Crest Wildflower Garden. We made a quick stop to look at the Phantom Ship that is 170 feet high, 500 feet long and 200 feet wide. The ship is a remnant of an ancient volcanic cone that was engulfed in the growing Mazama volcano. Our stop at the wildflower garden was short lived as we realized we were much too late in the year to see the flowers in bloom. We decided that this sampling of Crater Lake National Park East Rim would be better done some time in August so we could see the wildflowers in bloom.