We got up around 6am to beat the crowd to the popular Maroon Bells hike to Crater Lake driving straight to the trail head. The gate is closed to car traffic at 8am and reopens at 5pm, so we decided it was best to go early. The hike was longer than projected, because we got off trail on the way up (on purpose of course). On the way back we passed many hikers and more just arriving by bus. It was a revitalizing morning and certainly satisfied my hankering for a hike in the mountains.