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Visiting Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

So you’re feeling outdoorsy and you’re thinking of visiting Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. At a whopping 1,943-feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in all of the United States. The area is a great place to go if you want to get away from it all, especially considering that you’ll be lucky to get any cell phone coverage in and around the park. Ready to learn a little more about what Crater Lake National Park has to offer before you start planning your visit?

Getting to Crater Lake National Park
It’s going to take a bit of work to get to Crater Lake National Park. If you don’t have a car or you’re not walking there, the closest you’re going to get to the park is 60- or 80-miles (Amtrak or airport respectively) from the entrance, at which point you can rent a car or walk for the rest of the trip. There’s no public transportation that goes directly there. Even if you go by car, you’re going to have to be careful how you drive and when you go considering you’re going to be driving on mountain roads. Depending on when you want to visit, there are certain routes you’re going to have to take.

Swimming in Crater Lake
Since Crater Lake itself is obviously a huge draw, there are many who are curious about whether or not you can actually swim in it. Opening (usually) from mid-to-late June to about mid-September is the Cleetwood Cove Trail which is what you would have to take if you want to go swimming. The stretch of shore at the end is the only place where you can go swimming despite the multiple bodies of water in the park. During the summer, the water temperature typically ranges from 50°F to 60°F.

Wizard Island,Crater Lake National Park

What to Do
There are so many things to do in Crater Lake National Park. For example, you can go fishing, look out for wildlife, go hiking, take boat tours, and go camping. During winter, you can even go snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

Where to Stay
You have several lodging options if you want to stay in Crater Lake National Park. There are two different campgrounds: Lost Creek Campground which has 16 sites and Mazama Campground which has 200 sites. Should you want to stay in a cabin, there are 40 units available in the Mazama Village complex. Additionally, there’s the Crater Lake Lodge which has 71 rooms.

Basic Info
Crater Lake National Park is open 24/7, but obviously weather conditions are going to play a part in how much of the area and what entrances you’ll have access to. You’ll pay an entrance fee depending on how you’re getting into the park. For example, if you’re going in a car it’s $15 and those riding a motorcycle will pay $10. Those walking or cycling will also pay $10 but visitors 15-years-old and under will get in for free. An annual pass is $30. There are restaurants that you can visit when you get hungry. If you need odds and ends, stop by the Mazama Camper Store, and if you need any information, head over to the Steel Visitor Center. Should you want to mail out a letter, there’s a post office in the visitors center.

In case you’re wondering how Crater Lake came to be, it’s from when Mount Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago creating a caldera. Over many years, precipitation filled it up and created Crater Lake. Now that you know a bit more about what Crater Lake National Park has to offer, it’s time to start planning your own vacation.