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A Hidden Gem at Crater Lake: Annie Creek

As is true of most national parks, Crater Lake National Park has many beautiful places that most park visitors rarely see. Annie Creek is one of these.

It isn’t actually hidden. There is a trail that shadows Annie Creek from within the park, beginning near Annie Springs, where the crystal clear water bubbles out of the ground. There is also an unimproved campground just outside of the south entrance to the park. I’ve camped at that campground many times throughout my youth and after I got married. In fact, this was one of the first places I took my children camping.

We’ve also spent a lot of time fishing in Annie Creek or picking morel mushrooms or simply enjoying the scenery.

It is only hidden from the aspect of most people who visit the park not knowing that it is even there. In a way, this is surprising. A half-mile from the south boundary of the park, which is marked by a sign, there is a snow-park located on the right. This is a large paved area and a couple of outhouses and it is where people like to go in the wintertime to ride snowmobiles. The unimproved camping area is just below the snow park and it is right on the creek.

The contrast is also staggering. Around the snow park and south park entrance, huge Ponderosa Pines dominate in the dry pumice soil. When a person drives down the short, steep road that goes down to Annie Creek from the snow park, they only drop about 100 feet in elevation, yet the trees bordering this part of Annie Creek are mostly aspen, firs, and hemlocks. That short road is only about 1/8 mile long, yet it is as if you enter an entirely different kind of forest.

The arrow on the map points to the campsite and snow park that has been mentioned here.  The map also shows how Annie Creek is bordered by the road.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • This is a truly gorgeous place, anywhere along the stream. that means that a lot of walking isn’t required. I can no longer walk the trails, but if I went to the campsite, I can guarantee that after a day or two, I’d feel rejuvenated, all with very little walking.

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