Come at least once to see the pristine blue water, snowy bluffs and alpine splendor of this park. Return again to immerse yourself in its beauty.
Crater Lake National Park is a natural experience that creates lifelong devotees. People fall in love with this landscape and the remarkable lake at its center. Navigate the placid waters of Crater Lake on a boat tour. Cast a fishing line into a deep reserve filled with trout and salmon. Inhale the crisp, piney air of this forested wonderland.
One of the deepest lakes in the world, Crater Lake began with the eruption of Mount Mazama over 7,000 years ago. The inside of the volcano collapsed into a broad caldera now filled with the enormous lake. Look for Wizard Island, a cinder cone rising from the lake.
Bring a bike and climb hills, speed through turns or leisurely ride on open stretches of Crater Lake’s paved roads. Hike along paths full of pine trees, leafy plants and boldly colored wildflowers. Trails range from short mile jaunts to the entire Pacific Coast Trail.
With an average elevation of over 6,000 feet (1,800 meters), Crater Lake is snowy during winter. For the adventurous, this is a time for snowshoe tours and snowmobile rides. Be sure to check weather conditions and ranger guide availability before you plan a trip. From late spring to early fall, conditions are perfect for hiking and observing vegetation growth.
Visit one of several restaurants in the park or bring your own lunch. Find a pullout along one of the switchbacks and set up a sandwich bar on a picnic table or eat overlooking the lake’s rim. Spend the afternoon looking for wildlife.
To reach Crater Lake National Park, you’ll need to use a motor vehicle at some point. Fly into Medford Airport and rent a car to make the 80-mile (130-kilometer) drive to the park. Or, catch a train to Klamath Falls and rent a car or catch the seasonal shuttle bus for the 77-mile (123-kilometer) drive to the park. Extend your appreciation of this serene setting by staying overnight. Get comfortable at a lodge inside the park or wake up with the birds at a campground. Call ahead for accommodation pricing and availability.
U.S. national parks offer affordable adventures for all types of travelers. Enjoy your visit to Crater Lake National Park.