Ways to Make
Crater Lake National Park
Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking
The deepest lake in the US did not disappoint with its beauty.
Take the time to drive both the East and West Rim Drives. They each offer a different vantage points of the lake and a few other points of interest. Cloudcap Overlook is the highest point in Oregon reachable by a paved road.
This is the park’s only drive-by waterfall. If you take Pinnacles Road, you can see the towering volcanic spires with a short 0.8 RT mile hike if desired. (We were able to spot them from the Godfrey Glen Hike as well.)
0.8 mi loop.
This is another easy trail, this one paved with about 100 feet of elevation gain. It has a great view of Phantom Ship Island. Although it looks small, it is actually 170 feet tall and is made up of the oldest visible rock in the area.
We had originally wanted to do sunset at Watchman Peak, but that trail was closed due to snow. We drove around the rim and found an overlook for a picnic dinner with a view.
Phantom Ship and Pumice Castle Overlooks
Along the Rim Drive you will find a few overlooks. These offer views of interesting geological features.
2.4 mi RT
Aside from the mosquitos, this was an easy hike and not very crowded. It is a shaded hike through the forest out and back to the waterfall.
4.6 mi RT
This hike is on the East Rim Drive. It started through the forest and then started the ascent with multiple switchbacks, each one with an even more beautiful view of the lake. It then travels across a ridge to a fire tower. The tower itself was closed but there was plenty of room around it for a picnic lunch. There were thousands of migrating California Tortoise Shell butterflies making the experience a little magical. We couldn't help but enjoy playing in the snow for a few minutes.
Camp at Mazama Campground
We stayed at Mazama Campground and were able to choose an empty site when we arrived. We chose G3 in the tent only loop. It had a large tent pad, a pull through parking spot and it was close to the bathrooms. Due to the water restrictions there wasn't a working spigot anywhere in the campground but we could fill our water up at the camp store. There also wasn't a place to wash dishes which was a little awkward for us but we made due. Since it was only two nights we opted not to take one of the pay showers because they only had cold water.
With road construction and parking lot closures, be sure to plan your day around crowds and delays. Check the website and handouts for the latest updates. Don't be surprised to see trails closed due to snow in August.
If you do have the opportunity to take the boat tour, be sure to book far in advance. The inconvenience of driving all the way to the ticket stand and possibly not getting a tour makes the advance planning worth while. We had one booked but the boat was broken so we had the opportunity to climb Mount Scott instead.