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Not the Crater Lake of national park fame, this Crater Lake is situated below Red Lake Peak and Stevens Peak near Carson Pass, south of Lake Tahoe. It’s in an impressive basin. The route below also includes a scramble above the lake partway up the ridge to Red Lake Peak, with good views of Hope Valley and some the area of Mokelumne Wilderness south of Carson Pass.

Directions: Start from Hwy 88 at the turnoff to NFS road 091, or drive up as far as your vehicle allows. The GeoLocator coordinates below show a good place to park for an SUV with moderately good clearance (just beyond today’s parking spot).