Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Quick Facts

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon

(541) 594-3100

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Crater Lake is widely known for its intense blue color and spectacular views. Because Crater Lake is filled almost entirely by snowfall, it is one of the clearest lakes anywhere in the world. During summer, visitors may navigate the Rim Drive around the lake, enjoy boat tours on the lake surface, stay in the historic Crater Lake Lodge, camp at Mazama Village, or hike some of the park's various trails including Mt. Scott at 8,929 ft. Diverse interpretive programs enhance visitors' knowledge and appreciation of this national park, 90% of which is managed as wilderness. The winter brings some of the heaviest snowfall in the country, averaging 533 inches per year. Although park facilities mostly close for this snowy season, visitors may view the lake during fair weather, enjoy cross-country skiing, and participate in weekend snowshoe hikes.

Map of Crater Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 42.916709, -122.160759

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Activities

  • Boating

    Crater Lake boat tours are given daily from July to mid-September, weather permitting. Reservations can be made for half the tickets for each boat. (Reserved tickets must be picked up at the Cleetwood Ticket booth before hiking down.) First-come, first-serve tickets are sold at the Cleetwood Cove Trailhead parking area. PLEASE NOTE: Boat tour access requires hiking 2.2 miles round trip on a strenuous trail! Please check with Xanterra Parks & Resorts for the most current boat tour schedule and reservations.

  • Bicycling

    Each year, increasing numbers of cyclists come to Crater Lake National Park to ride around the lake on the 33-mile Rim Drive. The route is physically demanding. Steep hills at high elevation may encourage even the most fit riders to pause at many of the road's thirty overlooks and pullouts. The payoff, however, is spectacular scenery, seen at a pace that few visitors choose to take enough time for.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    A great way to see the park is to drive around Crater Lake on Rim Drive. In the late-Spring, typically June or May, the Rim Drive starts to open up. As plows clear the snow, more pavement becomes available for walkers, bikers and then automobiles. Typically, the entire Rim Drive is open by the beginning of July. Winter weather starts to close the Rim Drive in October.

    Join a park ranger on a 2-hour tour aboard a historic-styled trolley. Offered daily from July to mid October (weather permitting). Starting at Rim Village a driver will navigate the 33 miles of Rim Drive around Crater Lake including 4 stops. Tickets can be purchased the day of the tour or ahead of time from the Crater Lake Trolley or by calling 1-541-882-1896.

  • Camping

    There are two developed campgrounds at Crater Lake. Mazama Campground is located near the Annie Springs Entrance Station. Lost Creek Campground is accessed by taking East Rim Drive to the Pinnacles road. Campsites are all on a first come, first served basis. No reservations are taken. Camping opportunities are also available at several locations outside the park. Mazama Campground - This 198 site campground is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Call 541-594-3704 for prices regarding sites per night. Fresh water, flush toilets, a dump station, pay showers, and laundry facilities are available. There are no utility hookups. Fires are permitted in designated fireplaces only. Firewood is available for purchase at the Mazama Store. Campers are allowed to collect only dead and downed wood. Mazama Campground is open from June 11 to October 4, 2004, weather permitting. Lost Creek Campground - A 16 site tents-only campground is operated by the National Park Service. It normally opens in July and closes for the season in mid-September. Check at the park visitor centers at 541-594-3100 for exact opening and closing dates & rates. Sites are first come-first serve, they do Not Reserve by phone. These sites fill by early afternoon, so campers should select sites upon arriving in the park.

  • Fishing

    All waters within Crater Lake National Park are open to fishing unless otherwise indicated. Anglers can try to catch one of the lake's trout of salmon, two species that were introduced to the lake many years ago. (It originally contained no fish at all.)

  • Hiking

    Crater Lake National Park contains more than 90 miles of hiking trails. Many of these trails may easily be hiked in a single day.

  • Historic Sites

    Discovering Crater Lake Talks - Explore the special qualities and features of the "Jewel of the Cascades," and how it came to be. This 20 minute talk is presented daily at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook starting early July through Labor Day. From late-May to July, some talks will be presented. Check with the visitor centers for times.

    Ranger's Choice Talks - Learn about different unique aspects of Crater Lake National Park. Topics vary. This 20 minute talk is presented twice daily on the back porch of Crater Lake Lodge. From July to September, talks are given daily. Some talks will also be given from late-May to the end of June, and in September and October. Check with the visitor centers for times.

    Watchman Peak Hikes - Join a park ranger for a sunset hike up to the lookout atop Watchman Peak. Hike starts an hour before sunset and lasts an hour, ending at the lookout. Offered daily from July to September, check with the visitor centers for times.

    Evening Programs - Join park rangers for in-depth presentations of various topics relating to the natural and cultural history of Crater Lake. Specific topics are posted at the visitor centers and campgrounds. Programs are presented at the Mazama Campground Amphitheater from early July through Labor Day.

  • Picnicking

    Enjoy a picnic at Crater Lake while sitting at the edge of crystal clear, intense blue water.

  • Water Sports

    Whether just hiking down the Cleetwood Trail for a swim or joining a boat tour of the volcano, visiting the shore of Crater Lake is a unique experience. Typically the trail is accessible from July to October, depending on the snows.

  • Winter Sports

    A wide variety of trails and unplowed roads provide winter enthusiasts with access to breaththaking views, open slopes, and dense forests, making Crater Lake ideal for both daytrippers and backcountry campers who are prepared to face the challenges of winter.

    Crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing are two popular winter activities at Crater Lake National Park. Rangers lead interpretive snowshoe hikes and discuss various aspects of winter ecology. Walks are presented every Saturday and Sunday from late December through the end of April at 1:00 PM. Please sign up in advance by calling (541)594-3100. A few spots might be open on the day of the walk, so stop by the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters when you arrive. Participants must wear snowshoes because of the deep snow conditions along the route. Snowshoes are provided and there is a 30 person limit on each walk, and a minimum age of 8 years. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes can be arranged for groups of 10 people or more, but are schedule-dependent. Please call in advance to make arrangements at (541)594-3093.

Seasonality/Weather

Weather plays a dramatic role at Crater Lake National Park. Winter, especially, shapes the landscape; snow generally begins to accumulate each year in October and doesn't melt in most places until the following June. Summer weather is more predictable, with warm, dry days, blue skies, and cool nights. Nevertheless, there may be days even in August when the lake is completely obscured by clouds and fog. Visitors to Crater Lake National Park should be prepared for any kind of weather, any time of year. For current road and weather conditions updated at 8 a.m. daily, call (541) 594-3000. For the most current park weather forecast, check out the National Weather Service forecast for Medford, Oregon.

The park is always open, but some of the roads and facilities are closed during the winter. For more details, visit http://www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/hours.htm.

Steel Visitor Center - Open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily (except December 25) from early November to early April. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily from late April to early November. Inside the visitor center building, a U.S. Post Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in winter and 9 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. in the summer.

Rim Visitor Center - Open late May through late September, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Closed October to May.

Park Partners

Crater Lake Natural History Association

(541) 594-3110

Crater Lake National Park Lodges

Crater Lake Lodge, The Cabins at Mazama Village and Mazama Village Campground are operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the primary authorized concessioner in Crater Lake National Park.

Xanterra also offers boat tours on Crater Lake and operates Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, Annie Creek Restaurant & Gift Shop, and Rim Village Cafe & Gift Shop.

(541) 594-2255

Directions

Driving

From Roseburg - Route 138 east to the park's north entrance. From Bend - Route 97 south to route 138 west to the park's north entrance. From Medford - Route 62 north and east to the park's west entrance. From Klamath Falls - Route 97 north to route 62 north and west to the park's south entrance.

Flying

The closest airports are located in Klamath Falls (60 miles from the park) and Medford (80 miles from the park).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(541) 594-3100

Links