Glad to hear you’re focusing some of your visit on Crater Lake. It’s perhaps Oregon’s most unique feature and an attraction I always recommend.
July in Southern Oregon is quite warm, upper 80s to 90-some degrees, occasionally peaking in the 100s. But Crater Lake is more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so it’s relatively cool even in summer. Temperatures plummet in the evenings, so bring long pants and a jacket to wear. And for all its beauty, Crater Lake has swarms of mosquitoes during summer evenings. Repellent is essential if you’re there once the sun goes down.
Activities at the park range from guided hikes to fly-fishing excursions to stargazing in the summer. Check the nonprofit park trust’s website, www.craterlaketrust.org, for events not listed on the government’s website. Here’s an example of recreation that I wrote for the Mail Tribune newspaper in July 2010.
There’s plenty more to see on the way to Portland from Crater Lake via Highways 97 and 26. But consider a longer stay in Southern Oregon for the Oregon Caves National Monument, whitewater rafting on the Rogue River, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, outdoor Britt Festivals concerts in historic Jacksonville, hiking, biking, fishing, wine tasting and world-famous artisan foods.