I had originally planned a 12 plus mile loop hike around Browns Peak today. However, when I awoke this morning, it was very windy. It didn't seem like fun conditions for a hike above the trees, and so I packed up my tent (a bit of a chore in the wind) and hit the road to lower elevations that I hoped would be protected from the wind.
I headed east towards Centennial, but before leaving the National Forest I turned right and headed north towards the trailhead for Crater Lake. It was a pretty long drive to the trailhead, but very scenic. I saw some wildlife along the way: a couple of elk that were too quick to photograph and a pair of moose feeding along a creek.
I arrived at the trailhead and immediately hit the trail.
The first half of the route was very easy and extremely flat. I soon found myself at a high overlook of Crater Lake.
I took my photo at the overlook,
then started the very steep descent to the lake. The lake itself was a very nice spot. I rested there for a bit.
There wasn't much else to the lake though, so after a short time I was ready for the steep climb back up. It was tough going. Once I reached the ridge I found a spot marked by a few small cairns and took a side trip to what appeared to be the highest point around and the summit of Lookout Mountain. I snapped a selfie there
and then headed back to the trailhead for my drive back home.