Black Crater is a 7251 ft tall glacier carved extinct strato-volcano bounded by the Three Sisters to the south, Mt. Washington and Mt. Jefferson to the north and the McKenzie lava beds to the east. This hike climbs 2440 ft from the trailhead to the summit in 3.9 miles, through forest and recent burn areas to a peak where one feels as thought they can reach out and touch surrounding peaks.  

Activity Notes

  • THE VIEW!: Black Crater is perched between Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters, close enough to provide a seldom seen view, especially this time of year when the air is crisp and the leaves are beginning their autumn transition. 
  • LEADER: David Rempel, 928 587-0511,
  • PORTLAND DEPARTURE: 7:00 a.m. from the Clackamas Town Center Transit Center. Park on the second floor, and be there 10-15 minutes early to organize and set carpools.
  • TRAILHEAD DEPARTURE: 10:15 a.m. from the Black Crater Trailhead (St Hwy 242, between mp 80-81 & across from McKenzie Lava Fields).
  • WEATHER: Fall weather can be unstable, please watch area weather forecasts and dress appropriately for possible weather contingencies leading into the day of the hike.
  • WILDERNESS AREA HIKE: Black Crater is within the Mt. Washington-Three Sisters Wilderness Area (i.e., 12 heart beats max) and so sorry, no dogs on this hike. 
  • MEALS: Plan for lunch on the trail. As a group we will discuss options for stopping and eating on the way home. 
  • RECOMMENDED GEAR: Dress for the weather, and bring (minimum) 3 liters of water for the trail. 
  • TRAILHEAD PARKING PASS: Drivers parking at the trailhead will need either a NW Forest Pass or can purchase a day pass for $5.00 at the onsite kiosk.


Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 166 miles
Driving Time from Portland 3 hours
Distance - Round Trip 7 miles
Interesting Features Mountain Views
Useful Links