Crater Creek Trail #416


Crater Creek Trail is popular for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bike trail users. The trail stays close to the creek as it climbs up through a series of Ice Age basins to Crater Lake, surrounded by subalpine forest and wet meadows. Last 0.75 mile is mostly level with good views. Horse camp is 0.25 mile from lake. Trail is open to hikers, horses and mountain bikes (closed to motorcycles). Bicyclers, and hikers yeild to horses when meeting on the trail.

Sawtooth Backcountry multiple use trail brochure with map showing which trails are open to hikers, horses, mountain bikes and motorcycles. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For current trail condition information
Fees No trailhead parking pass required.
Open Season: Mid July
Best Season: August - September
Busiest Season: August
Restrictions: Trail closed to motorcycles. E-Bikes (with full electric motor power or pedal assist) are not allowed. Weed free hay required for stock of all forest lands (processed grains okay). 
Closest Towns: Carlton, Washington
Water: no potable water
Restroom: Vault Toilet at trailhead
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Methow Valley Ranger District. 

General Information


From Twisp take State Route 20 south for 2 miles, to junction with State Route 153. Take State Route 153 south for 12 miles to Okanogan County Road 1029 (Gold Creek Loop) and follow a short distance to County Road 1034 (Gold Creek Road). Take County Road 1034, which becomes Forest Service Road 4340, about 6 miles to Forest Service Road 4340-300 (Crater Creek Road). Take Forest Service Road 4340-300 for 4.6 miles to the Crater Creek Trailhead. Follow Eagle Creek Trail #431 for 0.7 mile, cross Crater Creek and turn right onto this Crater Creek Trail. Next stream crossing is a bridge.

General Notes:

This trail is closed to motorcycles and all motorized use. 

This area is popular with mountain bikers. Be considerate of all trail users, when encountering stock on the trail.  Talk to the horseriders so the stock can recognize your location and not feel threatened by your actions. Move off the lower side of the trail and continue talking to the animals until all have past. Mountain bikers and hikers can take their packs and bikes off the lower side of the trail with them, and talk to the animals to reassure them. These measures will assure safety to everyone for their common enjoyment.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Horse Riding & Camping

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