This trail begins from the Manzanita Lake area and leads two miles eastward to Crags Lake. The route takes hikers through a forested area to an excellent vantage point of the Chaos Crags and Jumbles. The 800 foot elevation gain makes this trail a moderate half day hike.
Begin your hike from the trailhead on the Manzanita Lake Campground road. During the first 15 minutes of the route you remain close to Manzanita Creek and climb 180 feet. Beyond this the route leaves the creek turning northward and remaining level for the next .33 miles. During this time the tail passes three small springs. After passing the third stream the tread turns eastward and resumes the ascent. Hikers will gain 80 feet from the last spring before crossing a small stream.
The trail gains 40 feet and crosses the stream again. After the second crossing the trail parallels the stream for a short distance before making a sharp turn southward. Here the trail begins to ascend a series of switchbacks. At the top of these switchbacks the trail emerges from the stunted forest to an overlook of Crags Lake.
The last few minutes of hiking to the lake is on the descent. The lake lies in a depression beneath Chaos Crags. The lake is fed by melting snow and is usually evaporated by fall.
Directions from Northwest Entrance: Travel southeast past the Loomis Museum and ranger station to the Manzanita Lake Campground entrance. Turn right into the campground and follow the campground road a short distance to the Crags Lake Trailhead.
June through September
(NOTE: Snow may cover the trail in the Early Summer and Fall.)