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Watchman Peak Trail

W Rim Drive, Oregon 97604 USA

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“climbs steadily westward”

The trail is just under one mile long, providing access for park visitors and rangers from the Watchman overlook parking lot (7600 feet above sea level) to the Watchman Observation Station at the summit (8013 feet above sea level). The trail follows its historic route that begins at the base of Watchman Peak, follows the original alignment of the old Rim Road for approximately 300 yards, then climbs a series of switchbacks up the steep slope of the peak to the observation station at the top. The width of the historic corridor along the switchback portion of trail is 5 feet from the centerline of the trail in either direction. The trail is moderately steep, a 15 percent grade, and ascends through the sub alpine vegetation zone, which is dominated by Whitebark pines and penstemon. Today, the Watchman Trail and Watchman Observation Station continue to exemplify the NPS rustic and naturalistic landscape architectural styles of construction. The features also are recognized for their association with early master park planning during the period of significance (1916-1933), when the landscape was planned and established. The Watchman is an outstanding example of park design efforts to blend a trail and structure seamlessly into their surroundings.

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Reviewed by
Travel Oregon

  • Expert
  • 5,384 Reviews
  • 2,207 Helpful
June 17, 2015

The Watchman Peak Trail begins from West Rim Drive approximately four miles north of Rim Village. The trailhead is signed as The Corrals on the eastern side of the roadway. From the trailhead the route climbs steadily westward along the northern flanks of The Watchman. As it gains the western ridge the track turns eastward and ascends toward the summit. Slightly more than a half mile from the trailhead the route reaches the historic fire lookout on the 8,013-foot peak. From this lofty height the views abound. To the east is Crater Lake and Wizard Island, westward is the Rogue River National Forest.

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Watchman Peak Trail

W Rim Drive
97604 USA
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