When is the best time to visit Crater Lake?
Timing your visit to Crater Lake depends on which activities you most enjoy. Summer, obviously, is the most popular time to visit because the park is most accessible. In addition to viewing the lake from the rim or by boat in the caldera, there are opportunities for hiking, camping and learning about the lake’s history and unique ecology.
In wintertime, outdoor activities turn to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (free, guided hikes are offered by volunteer rangers generally from November to April). Crater Lake officials always say winter is the park’s dominant season, considering that it is snow-shrouded most years from October to May.
I would recommend visiting both times of year.
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Mark Newsome says…
For cycling, the third week in September is great — rim access will be for non-motorized vehicles only! (Starting in 2013).
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About Ask Oregon Expert Sarah Lemon
Sarah Lemon is a writer and editor for the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford, Ore. The Tribune's food editor, Sarah covers Southern Oregon's unique, up-and-coming food scene in the weekly section, A la Carte, and on her blog, The Whole Dish. She also produces stories on a wide variety of topics from the outdoors, health and fitness to entertainment, the home and gardening for the Tribune and associated publications.