Wizard Island Summit

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 42.90000°N / 122.1°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Wizard Island Framed by The Watchman and Hillman Peak

Wizard Island as seen from across Crater Lake.

Wizard Island is the well-known cinder cone that rises out of the waters on the west side of Crater Lake. It was formed long after the original eruption of the former Mount Mazama, 7700 years ago. Over the ensuing several hundred years, a number of smaller eruptions caused the formation of several cinder cones on the caldera floor. Wizard Island is the only one of these to rise above the lake's surface. The highpoint of the Wizard Island cinder cone rises about 765-feet above the lake's average surface. It affords truly unforgettable views. It is topped by a 500-foot around, 100-foot deep caldera that is sometimes called the Witches Cauldron. No trip to Crater Lake National Park is complete without a hike to the summit of Wizard Island!

The Wizard Island hike may be the only one on SummitPost where a multi-mile boat ride is part of the approach. These boats are seasonal, so be certain they will be running the day of your planned hike. Also, these boats may not be running during thunderstorms. You may call the park at (541) 594-2211, extension 402, for current information.


Wizard Island Map

Map of area around Wizard Island.

 Phantom Ship , a basalt dike...

Phantom Ship as seen from the tour boat.

Reservations for the boats may be made (and are recommended) at Crater Lake Volcano Boat Tours (~$42 for an adult). The remaining seats will be sold at kiosks located inside Crater Lake Lodge next to the front desk, and inside the Annie Creek Gift Shop at Mazama Village. Two hours prior to departure, you may buy a boat ticket at the booth in the Cleetwood Cove parking lot (where the trailhead is located to hike to the dock). Arrive early as the boat rides can sell out quickly. Also, not all tickets permit the holder to debark at Wizard Island, so you'll want to ensure that your ticket permits that (you'll have a choice of 3 or 6 hours on the island, depending on what tour time you are able to secure).

From the parking lot, hike down the steep, class 1 trail for a little over a mile, losing roughly 700 feet. Board the boat at Cleetwood Cove and ride for roughly an hour. The boat will drop you off at Wizard Island's Fumerole Bay dock. The trailhead to the Wizard Island summit is well-signed.

Route Description

Simply walk up the well-signed class 1 trail for roughly a mile, gaining about 765-feet of elevation (6,940-feet above sea level). Wizard Island is an infant cinder cone with rough lava and loose cinder; exercise caution while hiking. At the top the trail circumnavigates a small caldera (the Witches Cauldron). After your hike, descend and wait for your assigned boat to take you back to Cleetwood Cove. Meanwhile, you can explore the rest of Wizard Island, you can swim (though be forewarned the water is cold), Scuba dive (if you brought your own gear and have secured a permit), and fish. You can see the boats coming from most of the island, so you should be able to time your arrival at the dock perfectly.

View to the Northeast from Wizard Island summit.

Amazing shades of blue and green on a clear day from Wizard Island summit.

Small crater on Wizard Island summit (the Witches Cauldron).

Panoramic view from the summit of Wizard Island.

Essential Gear

You're surprisingly exposed on the island; exposed to wind and sun, not to mention stuck there for a long period of time as you wait for your assigned boat to take you back to civilization. Temperatures are often cooler on Wizard Island than at the Cleetwood Cove trailhead, and thunderstorms are not uncommon in the summer. Take sufficient clothing and water, as well as rain gear for your stay. There is a pit toilet on the island at the dock. You might wish to spend some extra time fishing if you bring a pole and tackle along. Camping is not permitted on Wizard Island, so you needn't include that gear in your planning.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Aug 23, 2007 9:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Boats Have Changed

My son and I were just at Crater Lake a couple weeks ago. It appears that the boat policy has changed. Now there are boats specifically designated for dropping folks off at Wizard Island--for either a three or six hour stay. Tickets for these boats are limited, of course. There are more specifics in the park newspaper, but I threw out my copy, and can't find it on the web (most parks have them on the web). --mark d.

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Jan 1, 2012 3:16 pm - Hasn't voted


Mark, back in the day when this page was first created, I think the SP taxonomy was different, accounting for why this was posted as a route. But since it's a distinct summit, do you think it would be better posted as a mountain/rock? I've been having this discussion with someone familiar with the area recently, and I did change the other old route pages to mountain ones with the exception of the circumnavigation page. Since you're still active on the site, though, I didn't want to step on your toes. Cheers, and Happy New Year! Bob

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Jan 1, 2012 4:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

I agree, Bob. I didn't originally create the page--I think mbpro did. In fact, I had prepared to climb it, then when we arrived the boat was obviously going to be sold out before we ever reached the ticket booth. On my return I did make a comment (above your own) based on my preliminary research, and mbpro (I think) added me to the page. I've done some work on it, but always wondered why it wasn't its own mountain page. --mark d.


Arkitekt - Jan 3, 2012 10:50 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

Bob, I saw your post here. I had just started SP when I created the Wizard Island Peak Mountain/Rock page. I contacted Mark once i saw that their was a route page and he told me, similarly that he had inherited the page from another person. At that time we decided to link the route page to the mountain page. Maybe some reorganizing is in order. I did this hike back in 2006 but I still remember it pretty well. Looks like one other has done it since so maybe their input would be helpful also.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Jan 4, 2012 3:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

That's right, I forgot about that. Maybe we should just make Arkitekt the owner of this page and let him merge the two? --mark d.


OOG - Jan 5, 2012 12:15 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

I was the one who brought the Crater Lake taxonomy issue to the attention of the elves. The issue was only with the peaks on the Crater Rim, Wizard Island not included. I thought the peaks on the rim should be converted to mountain pages, since they are in fact mountains. It looks like the Wizard Island route page was submitted in the same manner as the rim peaks, but the mountain page was created much later. I'm guessing Bob just didn't see the Wizard Island Peak mountain page and mistakenly converted this one along with the rim peaks. The taxonomy made perfect sense before converting it, a bit redundant but not too bad, the route page didn't need to be attached to the Crater Lake area page though.

Mark Doiron

Mark Doiron - Jan 5, 2012 2:46 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

Okay. I'm the one who converted it after Bob's suggestion, my having forgotten that there already was a mountain page. I've changed it back to a route. It doesn't matter to me if we decide to delete/merge the page, or if leaving it as is is a suitable answer. Again, I'm willing to give up this page if that's the best answer for SP. --mark d.

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Jan 5, 2012 3:08 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

I'm smacking myself right now because I, too, didn't notice that the mountain page already existed. I think Mark's decision to go back to a route page and leave it attached to the mountain is best unless there is a real interest in merging the other pages.


Arkitekt - Jan 6, 2012 5:28 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Mountain/Rock?

OOG to answer your question, yes. I built the Mountain page. I did not see the route page when I joined and built it just a few days later. I have noticed since then that their were many other pages for routes in the area. Those I agree should be mountains. Those being: Hillman Peak and Mt Scott. Sorry again Mark for making this all so complicated. It was a new member mistake to not notice the route page. Considering that the previous owner of that page and anyone having actually climbed the summit is absent maybe it was a good mistake to make.

Viewing: 1-9 of 9



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.