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This North Crater Trail passes through open meadows and forests of lodgepole pine and true firs. Hikers will cross two streams in the northern portion of the trail and find the open meadows full of flowers from late June through August. Two highway crossings must be negotiated along the route. In winter, novice Nordic skiers enjoy the gently rolling topography. Parking is available year-round at both access points. This trail is closed to motorized use.

This early route once connected to the old Skyline Trail, a predecessor of today’s Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The trail is still used today by equestrians and hikers as a tie in between the Diamond Lake area and the PCNST. Both trail access points have horse camps.

The North Crater Trailhead can accommodate standard camping as well as equestrian use, while the Howlock Mountain Trailhead has camping for equestrian campers only. Mountain bike enthusiasts are occasional users of this trail.

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