Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

In A Nutshell


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 the year.

For current road and weather conditions updated at 8:00 AM daily, call (541) 594-3000.

Winter Conditions

From October to June, Crater Lake National Park is a snow-covered wilderness. November through April is assuredly snowy with poor visibility and fair to poor driving conditions, but wonderful skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. With snowfall still lingering on the ground in early July, winter defines Crater Lake National Park more than any other season.

Snowfall averages 533 inches (1,350 cm) annually, and by early spring, it is typical to have ten to fifteen feet (4 meters) of snow on the ground. While snowfall is common in the Cascade Mountains, Crater Lake National Park is one of the snowiest areas in the Northwest where regular records are kept.

The National Park Service began recording weather information at Crater Lake National Park headquarters in 1926. The winter of 1932-1933 still holds the record for total snowfall in a single season, with 879 inches (2,230 cm). In 1950, Crater Lake set a state record for snowfall in a single calendar year, with 903 inches (2,294 cm). The most snow ever recorded on the ground at Park Headquarters was 21 feet (6.4 meters), on April 3, 1983.

Typical winter temperatures range from a high of about 35°F (2°C) to an overnight low around 19°F (-7°C).

Summer Conditions

The weather in May and June can vary from warm and sunny to snowy and foggy with poor lake visibility. Temperatures may be as high as 65°F (18°C) or as low as freezing.

July, August, and September are your "best bets" for dry, warmer weather. A typical daytime high temperature during these three months is around 67°F (19°C), but can range from 40°F to 80°F or more (4°C to 27°C). Temperatures cool off rapidly in the evening, with a typical nighttime low around 40°F (4°C), while some nights dip below freezing.

October usually presents cool but sunny days and brings the start of winter snowfall by mid-month.

Summer thunderstorms occur from June through mid-September, bringing dramatic displays of lightning and high winds. Boat tours, guided walks, and evening programs may be canceled if lightning is present in the park.