Drive to the summit of Highway 62 (about 1 mile west of Mazama Village). Turn south at a "Pacific Crest Trail" sign. Go to the dirt turn-around at the end of the very short road. The trail follows the Pacific Crest Trail part of the way. This is the trailhead.
The trail starts in a sparsely wooded forest. It has very little underbrush, and the trees are far apart because the catastrophic eruption of Mount Mazama 7700 years ago created a ''desert'' of ash that is too dry to support many plants. The trail at this point follows the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which is not steep at all.
Follow the Pacific Crest Trail 2.9 miles to a trail junction. Take the Union Peak Trail, which is the trail on the right. Follow the trail upwards. This is where the trail gets steep. The last 0.8 mile has innumerable switchbacks. Follow the trail to the summit.
The view is great. You can view Mounts Bailey, Thielsen, and Scott, but Crater Lake itself is not visible.
Round-Trip Distance: 11 miles.
Elevation Gain: 1600 feet.
Water is very important, as it gets very hot and dry here in the summer. Bring lots.
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