The Coast to Crest Trail links the coast and Cascade-Sierra mountains in an area of unique geologic landscapes connected by an almost continuous corridor of parks and wilderness. The photo tour below takes you on a short journey of what hikers would see along the 200 mile trek from where the Coast-Crest Trail begins from the beach at Redwood State and National Parks to where it ends at Crater Lake National Park on the crest of the Cascade Mountains.
Redwood State and National Park
Starting at Endert’s Beach the route takes hikers through lagoons and spruce forest to the crest of the coastal hills and the beginning of the old growth redwood forest.
Jedediah Smith State Park
The route enters the Mill Creek watershed where trails through the old growth redwood forest provide a world-class hiking experience. The route passes through Stout Grove with the sixth tallest tree in the world and then connects to the historic Kelsey Pack Trail that climbs out of the forest toward Little Bald Prairie.
Smith River National Recreation Area
The historic 1852 Kelsey Pack Trail traverses through a portion of the largest serpentine rock exposure in North America as it follows the wild and scenic designated South Fork of the Smith River before entering the Siskiyou Wilderness.
The route continues eastward following existing trails including portions of the Clear Creek National Recreation Trail. Wilderness Falls, the only waterfall on the route, is seen while hiking on this trail. The route also offers opportunities for taking short side trips to several alpine lakes.
Poker Flat-Bolan Lake – THE SEGMENT DESCRIBED IN THIS WEBSITE
At the north end of Siskiyou Wilderness an eight mile segment of trail will need to be constructed to create a link to the Red Buttes Wilderness. Bolan Lake offers camping and and opportunity to spend the night in the Bolan Mountain lookout.
Red Buttes Wilderness
This region offers a rugged landscape of mantle rock that stunts the growth of vegetation and gives the region an alpine feel even though this elevation is commonly covered with a Douglas fir forest. Existing trails take hikers to the Pacific Crest Trail with options for taking side trips to alpine lakes.
Oregon Caves National Monument
This is a side trip off the main route through the Red Buttes Wilderness. Oregon Caves National Monument offers an opportunity to take a cave tour and spend the night in the historic Oregon Caves Chaeau, one of the great lodges of the west. The route continues back through the Red Buttes Wilderness following the Boundary National Recreation Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Pacific Crest Trail
The route follows the Pacific Crest Trail through Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to Mount Ashland and Interstate Five. The distance from where the trail began at Redwood National Park to this point is about 100 miles. Lodging is available at the Mount Ashland Ski Resort.
Siskiyou-Cascade National Monument (BLM)
This National Monument is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is significant because it marks the transition point between ancient ocean crust geology of the Siskiyou Mountains and landscapes of recent volcanic activity in the Cascade Mountains.
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
The route crosses the plateau-like landscapes of the ancient western Cascades volcanic fields where ponderosa pine is the most common tree in the forest. Two recreation lakes, Hyatt Reservoir and Howard Prairie Reservoir, both offer resort accommodations. Also along this segment the route crosses the historic Applegate Pioneer Trail established around 1846 and had an importance in Oregon history similar to the Oregon Trail. The route crosses Highway 140 where a short side trip takes you to Lake of the Woods resort, which is also the gateway to Mountain Lakes Wilderness. Mount McLaughlin is located north of Highway 140 and marks the beginning of the Sky Lakes Wilderness. The next paved road after Highway 140 is Highway 62 in Crater Lake National Park.
Sky Lakes Wilderness
This high elevation wilderness is situated south of Crater Lake National Monument and has several lakes that retain their high water even in years of drought. Near the north end of the wilderness there is an opportunity to take a side trip to Stuart Falls.
Crater Lake National Park
As the route approaches Crater Lake, pumice becomes more prevalent with the forest dominated by western hemlock and lodgepole pine. The trail climbs to the rim of Crater Lake with a view of the deepest and clearest lake in North America. Lodging is available at the historic Crater Lake Lodge located about a mile to the south of the Lightning Springs Trailhead on the paved rim drive. A mile in the other direction takes you to the trail to Watchman Peak, one of the most spectacular vista point of the lake (best from about 12:00 noon to 2:00 in the afternoon).