Forum Index > Trip Reports > Finding the old Crater Lake TH, Chelan Sawtooth's 5/10-11/2023
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HitTheTrail
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HitTheTrail
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PostThu May 11, 2023 4:30 pm 
The Crater Lake trailhead up Gold Cr. just past the Foggy Dew campground turnoff is one of the highest and shortest routes into the heart of the Golden Loop (think larches) area of the Chelan Sawtooth’s . You start hiking at 4700’ and only have to hike around 6 miles to get into Eagle Lakes Which is a great place to start the loop.
Red X's mark the old lower and new upper Crater Lake trailheads.
Red X's mark the old lower and new upper Crater Lake trailheads.
Old maps show the original trail starting down by Crater Creek about the 3K level. Steve and I decided to do a car camping trip to the Foggy Dew campground and hike up to find the old TH. The old road down to the creek is still visible and easy to follow. The old TH, camp and horse corral are at the end of the road beside Crater creek. Lots of interesting stuff there.
TH is beside Crater Creek.
TH is beside Crater Creek.
Interesting DYI three legged stools.
Interesting DYI three legged stools.
Hard backed chair.
Hard backed chair.
Tripod.
Tripod.
Horse corral.
Horse corral.
After checking that out we tried to drive up to the newly expanded current TH and got within about ¾ of a mile of it before hitting downfall and snow. That TH has been recently expanded and based on our experience last summer is becoming a lot like the two Enchantments trail heads. Probably good places to avoid unless you want to see it at least once.
Newly expanded TH.
Newly expanded TH.
In the afternoon we took a hike up to Foggy Dew point (4842’). That is a near vertical rocky climb but covered with beautiful flowers. I forgot my phone in the car so didn’t get any photos. I also can’t recommend that hike. And finally, we met a very nice FS employee doing spring startup work on the Foggy Dew CG. She told us the Foggy Dew TH road is still closed by downfall but will be open soon.

Cyclopath, mosey, zimmertr, jstern, John Mac, Get Out and Go, Bootpathguy
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Sculpin
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Sculpin
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PostFri May 12, 2023 7:26 am 
I wonder how many hikers go to Crater Lakes these days. It sure seemed quiet when I was up there despite being peak summer hiking season, and the bootpath up to the upper lake was vague in places. It is not particularly scenic - generic mountain scenery I guess - and doesn't connect well to other hiking areas. I suspect the trail is maintained primarily for hunters. On the flip side, it was one of my best botanical hikes. cool.gif

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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zimmertr
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostFri May 12, 2023 8:15 am 
HitTheTrail wrote:
That TH has been recently expanded and based on our experience last summer is becoming a lot like the two Enchantments trail heads. Probably good places to avoid unless you want to see it at least once.
I went last October and slept in my car for an early start and the entire lot was filled with other people doing the same. When I returned cars were shoulder parked down the road as well. That being said, I started at 4AM because I wanted to do the entire loop. So I didn't see anyone until the summit of Switchback where I met a couple people and ran the ridge with them to Boiling Lake. From there, and especially around Upper Eagle Lake however, there were quite a few people. Especially very tired looking mountain bikers.
Sculpin wrote:
I wonder how many hikers go to Crater Lakes these days.
People will often do the Sawtooth Grand Slam to nab 5 Bulgers in a day by running the ridge from Switchback to Hoodoo. Then backtracking and exiting out via the Crater Lake Trail. Beyond that I think it's also known as a pretty hot larch area.

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mosey
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