Round-trip distance to summit: 5 miles (approximation)
Total elevation gain: 1,700 ft.
A moderate pace should probably get you to the summit within 2 hours from your car.
Proceed to the base of the mountain as described in the “Getting There” section. Park your vehicle. At 6.2 miles from the 395/120 East junction, the dirt road will veer sharply left- basically at this turn, you will see (if you squint) footprints between the desert brush. This is the beginning of the trail (Check out this photo).
Follow this trail as is switchbacks up the mountainside through the forest. It will eventually end up at the saddle between Crater Mountain & the butte to its north, almost directly above the beginning of the trail just described, if looking directly ahead. Follow a use trail (if present) from the saddle up the steep pumice scree between the volcanic outcroppings to the summit plateau/crater. The true summit, a volcanic plug, will be obvious. Take a semi-trail up this on its north side (class 2), or go to the W side & scramble up its face (mostly solid, enjoyable class 3).
Go back the way you came.
Bring plenty of water, esp. during the summer. To my knowledge there are no reliable water sources near or on the mountain. Scree gators are also a good idea. Binoculars & camera a must.
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.