Crater Mountain marks the one and only time I've followed arrows painted on the rock to climb to a summit. The "path" (more like ledges) is mostly on the labyrinthine West Face and takes all but about half-an-hour from where the trail unofficially ends below the summit tower. The arrows made it fun. Not for the faint of heart though.
As of Aug. 1, 2005, the Granite Creek footbridge (near the old guard station) is non-existent. It appears the USFS is rebuilding it. In the mean time, walk about 50-100 feet upriver and cross on a large, stable log.
- Bridge is still down. The river is fairly shallow about a quarter mile from the parking lot (mid-summer). Look for the second camping clearing, and bushwhack through the center isle.
- After the turn-off for Crater lake, there are a few fallen trees. The trail may be overgrown or obscured by shrubbery—either way, not visible from the other side of the particularly large trees. Keep at it, or have your GPS/thinking cap handy.
- Didn't follow the yellow makers. That looked way too steep for me, with bad holds and no rests. There is an alternate route marked by cairns to the climber’s left. It’s more moderate, although the exposure is arguably worse. Just follow the block to the left and up a weakness to the same platform where the yellow markings end.
- trail may be abandoned and overgrown but still very clear as of July 2019.
- camping at the lake is awful. There are better grounds a quarter mile before and half mile after.