Ascent of Crater Peak on 2003-10-25

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, October 25, 2003
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Crater Peak
    Elevation:8683 ft / 2646 m

Ascent Trip Report

The hike to Magee and Crater Peaks is within the relatively small Thousand Lakes Wilderness (16,335 acres). The name is something of a misnomer as there are only three lakes of note--Magee, Everett, and Eiler. To reach the Magee TH (6,050') I turned off CA 89 on FS 16 about 2.5 mils NE of the Lassen Volcanic Park entrance. After 9.9 miles turn on FSR 32N48 and continue 1.7 miles to the unsigned TH. Although a sign states that the trail is no longer maintained, it is basically in good shape except for a number of fallen trees blocking the first mile of trail. The trail climbs steadily but not steeply through mixed conifer forest, then breaks out into the open with twisted whitebark pine, low growing manzanita, and other bushes. After about 3.5 miles the trail meets the ridgeline and the rim of a small but impressive glacially carved basin. Here the main trail drops steeply down via switchbacks into the basin and on to Everett and Magee Lakes. The branch trail goes up to Magee Peak following the ridge westerly about 1/4 mile to the summit. There is no evidence of the fire L.O. that once stood here. After signing the register left by Richard Carey and Gail Hanna in August, I started for Crater Peak, glad to have the benefit of a use trail that I could follow much of the way around the crater's edge, descending perhaps 150' to a minor saddle before the final ascent to Crater Peak. I signed the register noting the names of Richard and Gail as well as those of John Vitz and Gordon MacLeod/Barbara Lilley in 2001 during their quest for "California's 50 Finest Prominences." I retraced my steps back over Magee Peak and down to the TH. A thoroughly rewarding day immersed in the solitude of this grand wilderness.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2933 ft / 893 m
    Extra Gain:150 ft / 45 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Trailhead:Magee TH  6050 ft / 1844 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Beautiful, stiff breeze along the ridge

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