Visit Crater Lake For Incredible Views, Scenic Drives, Challenging Biking And Extensive Cross-Country Skiing, Or Just Take A Relaxing Boat Ride Around The Lake
When Mt Mazama was destroyed by a volcanic eruption more than 7000 years ago, the volcano's collapsed caldera eventually filled with water from rain and snow melt, giving us a mountain lake of unparalleled beauty. Today Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, with a depth of more than 1,900 feet. It is also considered the cleanest and clearest lake in the world, fed only by rain and snow, without a drop of water coming from any river or
stream. Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902 and covers 183,000 acres of beautiful mountain terrain that is a recreational paradise. Summertime activity includes camping, bicycling, hiking, swimming, scuba-diving and sightseeing by trolley, car or boat. The winter time provides an opportunity for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and sledding, as well as back-country camping. After arriving at the park visitors can stop at the Steel Visitor Center for information on hiking, camping, lodging and learn the best routes for sightseeing by car or by foot. Crater Lake's Rim Village has a beautiful gift shop and cafe that are open all year. Crater Lake Lodge, usually open from mid-May through October, offers fine dining, incredible lake views and a beautiful rustic charm that allows it to stand alone in comparison to other national park hotels. Here are just a few ideas to help get you on your way to a great time at Crater Lake National Park.
- 33-Mile Rim Drive: This is not the only scenic drive in the park, but it is the most popular. Taking this drive around the entire lake provides awesome views of Crater Lake and the surrounding area. Take any of the entrance roads to reach Rim Drive, then just follow the signs.
- Camping and Campgrounds: There are two campgrounds and 5 backcountry campsites in the park. For a backcountry camp you'll need a permit. Just stop by a visitor center for a free permit and information on areas where you're allowed to set up your wilderness camp. This type of camping allows you to enjoy volcanic landscapes and old-growth forests that cannot be seen by car or short day hikes. The map below shows the areas around the lake where campsites are permitted. This map also shows the location of the Mazama Village Campground and the Lost Creek Campground. Map
- Fishing: Fishing is permitted year-round on Crater Lake, but weather normally allows access to the lake only from May through October. To fish Crater Lake you'll need to take the Cleetwood Trail from the north side of Crater Lake down to the lakeshore. You can also take the tour boat to Wizard Island and fish from the boat docks. No fishing license is required to fish within Crater Lake National Park boundaries and there are no limitations on size, species or number of fish caught. Artificial lures and flies are the only bait allowed in the park. Fishing is permitted from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. See the National Park Service Website for additional information and restrictions. Below is a map showing various sites for fishing. Map
- Hiking at Crater Lake National Park: There are over 100 miles of hiking trails within the park's boundaries. The map below shows the popular trails in Crater Lake National Park. Hikes rated easy are Castle Crest Wildflower Garden Trail, Discovery Point Trail, Fumarole Bay Trail, Godfrey Glen Trail, Park HQ Historic Trail and Pinnacles Valley Trail. For moderate hikes try Anderson Bluff Trail, Annie Creek Canyon Trail, Annie Spring Cutoff Trail, Bald Crater Loop Trail, Bert Creek Trail, Boundary Springs Trail, Cleetwood Cove Trail, Crater Peak Trail, Dutton Creek Trail, Lightening Spring Trail, Pumice Flat Trail, Stuart Falls Trail, Sun Notch Viewpoint Trail, Union Peak Trail, Watchman Peak Trail and Wizard Island Summit Trail. The hikes considered difficult are Garfield Peak Trail and Mount Scott Trail. Map
- Bicycling: There are few places in Oregon where a cyclist can ride that will match the beauty, solitude and physical demands that a trek around Crater Lake will provide. Most cyclists start at the Park Headquarters and navigate Rim Drive in a clockwise direction, putting some of the most strenuous parts of the ride at the beginning of their trip. Here is an approximate guide of mileage between various points around the rim.
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There is also an 8-mile unpaved road for mountain biking along Grayback Drive.