Black Crater

August 7, 1982

Black Crater is an excellent hike, particularly when you have a sunny day, a great group of people, and an excuse for the first drive up and over the McKenzie Pass in a year. The summit must be one of the finest viewpoints in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and this opinion of the leader was confirmed by enthusiastic responses from the other hikers. Wonderful views are available at many points along the trail but most wonderful is the sudden emergence of the Sisters and Broken Top at the very top. Cameras, binoculars, maps, and wildflower guides (as well as lunch) were excellent stimulants for a total enjoyment of the crater summit. We spent a delightful time photographing, exploring, and relaxing in this very interesting area.

The only sour note of the day was the condition of the trail—dusty, filthy, and gouged out—due chiefly to the six horsemen we followed up and the fourteen we followed back to the trailhead. Some of the riders “entertained” us at lunch with stories of taking a wrong turn on Broken Top last year and having to lead their horses down a steep, icy slope. A biased hiker’s reaction is 1) why not leave the horses home? or 2) if walking is impossible, won’t someone invent a plastic bag to fasten over the horses’ rear ends?

The original Black Crater trip leader was very wise in scheduling an early start (it was a hot day) and most helpful in making all the pre-hike arrangements. Hikers (who reconvened at the Log Cabin for home-made blueberry cobbler and lots of ice water) were Dan Bates, Ken Masterson, Bryant Mitchell, Jack Powers, Fred Schepman, Marie Williams, and leader Karen Seidel (substituting for Catherine Jones).

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