Anniversary Hike to Crown Lake

Our 15th anniversary dawned with mostly clear skies and an expected high temperature of 77F in Salem.  The night before we had planned a hike into Crown Lake, which from terrain view in Google Maps, looks to be in a glacially carved basin located in the High Cascades.

Google Maps terrain view screen shot.

Google Maps Terrain View Screen Shot.

Here is the Google Earth file for the trip with the old glacial headwall annotated:  KMZ File

It had rained in the preceding days, so we were hoping to get some clear views of Mount Jefferson.  We hadn’t been this far into this area before, but we were in an adventuring mood, as we often are when we get some free time together.  😉

To get there we took Hwy 22 east out of Salem, then followed NF46 east to its junction with NF4685, which is the only road to NF330.  The trail head is at the end of NF330.


Trailhead Sign

There was enough parking for about 4 cars, but luckily there was only one other car there when we arrived!  And the view from the “parking lot” was such a nice tease!!


The hike itself was mostly uphill on the way in, but the gradient wasn’t too bad for someone who hates to hike uphill! 😀

Here’s the topographic map of the trail:

Screenshot of Google Earth with USGS Topographic Map Overlay

Screenshot of Google Earth with USGS Topographic Map Overlay

I outlined the old glacial headwall in blue.

The area around the trail was well vegetated, so it was difficult to get a sense of the geology or topography we were hiking through.  Thankfully there are topographic and geologic maps to help us visualize the geology around us!

When we arrived at the lake, an older couple were enjoying the main viewing spot at the end of the trail, so we hiked around the west side to find a more private spot to enjoy lunch.

Our first view of the lake.

Our First Good View of Crown Lake.

Our lunch spot.

Our Lunch Spot.

After lunch we headed back to the trail and found that the other couple had left, so we took in that view too.

Crown Lake with Mount Jefferson in the background.

Crown Lake with Mount Jefferson in the Background.

The hike out is much easier than the hike in since the gradient is more downhill.  😀

There was no way to know this driving in, but the views of Mount Jefferson heading back on NF4685 were outstanding!

Our first view of the lake.

Mount Jefferson

Mout Jefferson is a High Cascades stratovolcano and in the image above you can clearly see several glaciers and glacial features.  In case you can’t, I labeled them for you!

What a Geomorphologist Sees.

What a Geomorphologist Sees.

Here is the topographic map of Mount Jefferson:

Screen shot of Google Earth with USGS Topographic Map Overlay

Screen Shot of Google Earth with USGS Topographic Map Overlay

It was a lovely day and a great hike with fantastic views!

And to top it off, I managed not to end up in the ER like our 14th anniversary.  But that is another story… 😉


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