Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Parkis the only national park located in Oregon. It’s most famous for its namesake Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA, with many hailing it as the most pristine too. The lake was formed by the now-collapsed volcano, Mount Mazama, over 7,700 years ago. The terrain consists of lakes, forest, caves, and mountainous peaks. The National Park Service reports that every year more than 750,000 people explore the park’s 90 miles of hiking trails, 33-mile bicycle route, nine skiing trails, and two islands.
Weather at Crater Lake National Park fluctuates throughout the year. During the Spring, average daily temperatures range from 37-50 F, Summer 58 – 69 F, and Fall 40 – 63 F. Winter, however, remains quite consistent, with the average daily temperature between 34 – 35 F. Even in the Summer months, the night time temperature can drop to just 40 F, so visitors are advised to pack warm clothing.
Because Crater Lake is in a very remote part of the state, there are just two villages to visit within the national park, but no towns. Mazama Village is made up of a lodge, cabins, and campground, as well as a small village store. Additionally, the Rim Village Historic District is home to a café, gift shop, visitor center, and accommodation.
There are plenty of in-park activities to keep you and your family entertained. During the Summer months, visitors can enjoy everything from hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, swimming, and scuba diving, to cycling, boat tours, and exploring the park via a 2-hour narrated trolley tour. Although some of the roads and facilities are closed during the winter months, visitors are still able to partake in fun activities such as skiing, ranger-led snowshoe tours, and snowmobiling. For information regarding planned seasonal activities, view the park’s updated newspaper.
Where To Stay
When you visit Crater Lake National Park, you have the option to stay in two campgrounds within the park. Keep in mind that both campgrounds are open only in the warmer months, with Lost Creek Campground operating on a first-come, first-served basis (for tents only).
There are also several campgrounds located just outside of the park, giving you close access to all that Crater Lake has to offer.
Crater Lake National Park Public Campgrounds
Crater Lake National Park Private Campgrounds
RV Rentals Near Crater Lake National Park
Nearby RV Rentals
Hit the Trails
When it comes to hiking within the national park, you’ll find tons of variety – including over 90 miles of dedicated trails. These will take you to a number of stunning places within the park, so whether you want to explore the lakeside, alpine forest, or mountainous terrain, there’s certainly a trail you’ll love!
Below we’ve chosen a few of our favorites. For more trails that Crater Lake has to offer, along with a map, click here.
Crater Lake National Park Trails
Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Terrain: Downhill walk to lake’s shore, but steep, strenuous 700-feet climb on the way back. Rocky terrain, as volcanic boulders line the trail.
Castle Crest Wildflower Garden
Distance: 1.2 mile round trip
Terrain: Easy walk through forest, but beware of loose rocks along the trail. Mostly flat. Elevation gain of 121 feet.
Distance: 2.2 miles round trip
Terrain: Good for all skill levels but contains some steep, rocky climbs. Elevation gain of 915 feet.
Distance: 2.1 miles round trip
Terrain: The island itself is accessible via boat. The trail climbs 760 feet up to the island's summit. Moderate hiking skill required as terrain mostly consists of jagged lava rock.
Distance: 2 miles round trip
Terrain: Travels through trees, along rocky bluffs, past Sand Creek, and then lush vegetation at the base of the waterfall. Mostly flat. 134 feet in elevation gain.
Distance: 3.4 miles round trip
Terrain: The moderate hike starts above 7,000 ft and is entirely uphill until you reach the peak. Takes you through meadows and along rocky pathways.
What to Do
Once you’ve taken in the stunning sights that Crater Lake National Park has to offer via its hiking trails, you might be looking to unwind with a delicious restaurant meal, a shopping trip, or an insightful museum visit. Ready to take off your hiking boots? Here are some of our top recommendations for other activities around Crater Lake.
You’ll certainly be spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants in and around the national park. Whether you’re after fine dining, a generous family meal, or a quick pit-stop – you’re sure to find it here in Oregon. Below are some of our top restaurants worth stopping by during your visit to Crater Lake.
Type: Fine dining
Location: Crater Lake National Park (on the crest of the Cascade Mountain Range)
Location: Union Creek Resort, Prospect
Location: Café / Restaurant
Need to pick up some necessities during your trip? Or perhaps you wish to treat yourself to something special whilst in Crater Lake. When you’re ready to hit the shops, there are plenty that will take your fancy
Located within the national park, this gift shop is perfect for those wanting to take home a souvenir from their trip. Keep in mind that it’s not open all year round, with visitors only gaining access between May 25 and September 24.
Location: Crater Lake National Park
This gallery and gift shop is filled with art from 70 different artists; all living within the local area. You’ll find everything from paintings and drawings to jewelry and pottery.
If you’re in need of some serious retail therapy, this is the place for you. It’s the largest indoor shopping complex between Eugene, Oregon, and Sacramento, California and features fashion, homewares, sporting goods, entertainment, dining, and so much more.
When visiting the Crater Lake area, this is your go-to for antiques, collectibles, home décor, and gifts. It features over 100 vendors and is one of the best places for antiques in Southern Oregon.
People flock here to see some of the most beautiful, hand-crafted furniture and home decor within the region.
Got some spare time to take in the history of the local area? Or perhaps you need a rainy-day activity to keep the kids entertained? No matter what your reason, you’re sure to love the following museums near Crater Lake National Park.
This innovative museum features interactive exhibits, an outdoor garden, live science shows and fun programs year-round, including workshops, lectures, festivals, and more.
This unique logging museum showcases rare and antique logging equipment dating to the 1880s, as well as more recent pieces. The on-site pioneer village also gives you another insight into how these families once lived.
This museum made the Guinness Book of World Records for containing the world’s longest miniature railroad. Here you’ll find the world’s largest private caboose collection, along with over 60 full-size maintenance and rolling stock cars in collection.
Both adults and children alike love coming to this museum to witness the vast display of rocks, fossils, minerals, gems, petrified wood and Native American items that it showcases.
The Schneider Museum of Art is part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. Here, visitors can view various exhibitions by regional contemporary artists to get their creative juices flowing!
While there’s plenty to see and do within the national park itself, here are some additional sightseeing attractions for those wishing to explore the park’s surrounds.
Winema National Forest
Here, visitors can find 2 million acres of forested land offering activities such as hiking, skiing, boating, camping and wildlife viewing.
Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site
This pristine state park is located at the headwaters of the Wood River and is surrounded by pine forest, open meadows, and the southern Cascade Mountains. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and fishing.
This picturesque mountain is actually a composite volcano, located in the Cascade Range of southern Oregon and within the Sky Lakes Wilderness. It served as a landmark to Native American populations for thousands of years, but these days, visitors enjoy the stunning 6-mile trail to its summit.
Winston Wildlife Safari
Whether you’re passing to or from Crater Lake National Park, we recommend stopping via Winston to visit their popular wildlife safari. This 600-acre drive-through animal park is filled with hundreds of species native to Africa, Asia and the Americas, including cheetahs, bears, giraffes, elephants, and more.
Oregon Caves National Monument
If you find yourself south-west of the national park, don’t miss the Oregon Caves National Monument. These ancient caves are made of highly complex marble, with guests being able to partake in guided tours, spelunking and hiking.
How to Get There
You have plenty of options when traveling to Crater Lake National Park, including car, plane, or RV. If traveling from the west (Medford), follow Hwy 62 to the park's West Entrance. From the south (Klamath Falls), take Hwy 97 to Hwy 62 and the park's South Entrance. From the north (Eugene, Portland) you leave Interstate 5 just south of Eugene. Take Hwy 58 to Hwy 97 to Hwy 138. Follow Hwy 138 to the park's North Entrance. Finally, if traveling from the northwest (Roseburg), take Hwy 138 East from Interstate 5 and follow to the park's North Entrance. Keep in mind that the park’s North Entrance is closed for approximately 7 months per year, during the colder weather.
If flying, the closest airports to the park are in Klamath Falls (63 miles away) and Medford (75 miles away). Both airports offer car rental options.
Another way to travel to Crater Lake National Park is by RV. RVs are perfect as a ‘home away from home’ whilst traveling, giving you the creature comforts you love, along with a front-row seat to those spectacular views.RV rentals are available across the country, so whether you want to start at your location and drive the whole way, or fly in and pick up an RV closer to the park, there’s a number of options available to you.
If you’re planning to stay in your RV in the national park, Mazama Campground is the only campground with RV access. A limited number of sites with electric hookups are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but the campground does provide amenities such as a dump station, showers, flush toilets, and potable water. For a full list of features, click here. Check out the private campgrounds mentioned previously for more options.View RV Rentals
Entering the Park
Private vehicle: $25 in the summer; $10 in the winter.
Private, non-commercial vehicle (15-passenger capacity or less) and all occupants.
Motorcycle: $20 in the summer; $10 in the winter.
Admits one or two passengers on a private, non-commercial motorcycle.
Per person : $12
One individual with no car (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian). Youth 15 and under are admitted free of charge.
We’re incredibly excited that you’re planning a trip to Crater Lake National Park and can’t wait for you to witness first-hand the beauty that this place has to offer. RVing is one of the most fun, adventurous, and comfortable ways to experience your destination, whether it’s in an RV rental from RVshare or one you already own. Regardless of how you travel to Crater Lake though, we’d love to hear all about your trip! Send us photos at [email protected] and tag us on social media to tell us about your national park adventure. You’ll even have a chance to be featured on our blog or social media channels!