Crater Lake National Park Guide 2020 : National Parks Navigator

Crater Lake National Park

What to visit?

Crater Lake is the deepest Lake in the United States with a depth 1943 feet. The Lake level fluctuates seasonally but averages at 6173 feet above sea level. The Lake is in the center of the crater of a collasped volcanic mountain: Mount Mazama (formerly 12,000 feet prior to the eruption). The remaining rim has elevations from 8,151 feet to 7,400 feet. The highest point in the Park is just East of the East Rim at 8,929 feet. Boat tours are available on the Lake to Wizard Island. Hiking and Swimming is available. The Pacific Crest Trail, going from Mexico to Canada (2,650 miles) passes through the Park close to the Lake. The Beauty of the Lake is in its incredible water quality: You can see objects 142 feet below due to its incredible clarity. This is the cleanest body of water in the United States and has the most incredible shade of blue.

Observations: In Winter try snowshoeing around Crater Lake! Start at the Steel Visitor Center. Park Rangers lead tours of the Park. Cross country Skiing is open on various trails from the Steel Visitor Center. An average of 43 feet of snow falls here at the crest of the Cascade Mountains. Winter seson is from November 1 through May 21. Keep in Mind that the full Crater Lake Rim Road is not clear of snow until mid July. This place should be called "Snow Park USA". All activities can be found at: Crater Winter Activities.

Summer visitors have more facilities open and more to see. The campgrounds open June 15 through September 20; and the Lodge opens May 17 through October 13. Later, get right up close to the rim and check out Crater Lake Lodge (at 7,100 feet)-- the hotel has a great Lake view from the veranda! Many trails are available in Summer as well as the Crater Lake Boat cruise. All activities can be found at: Crater Summer Activities.

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How to get to Crater Lake?

The Park can be accessed from the North and the South. By car take Oregon Route 62 from Medford. From the North take Oregon Route 97 South from Bend to Route 138 to the Park Northern Entrance drive. Access: Bus service is available year round from Sandy to Timberline. AmTrak provides daily service to Klamath Falls. A shuttle runs from the Amtrak station to Rim Village (from late June to early October). There are no buses. Amtrak provides daily service to Klamath Falls. A shuttle runs from the Amtrak station to Rim Village (from late June to early October). See Amtrak train with trolley service to Rim Village.

Where to stay?

Accomodations: Camping : Mazama and Lost Creek Campground offers families excellent sites and locations. Mazama Campground is the largest and the closest to Rim Village and the Steel Visitor Center. The top Lodge is Crater Lake Lodge right at Rim Village. Cabins are available at Mazama Campground. Addtional accomodations are available in nearby Fort Klamath at Crater Lake Resort.

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