Crater Lake

From high atop the rim of Crater Lake, you can see what a wonder the world really is.

A hike down to the water reveals new wonders. The water is so blue, so deep, it’s no surprise it’s the deepest lake in America, and one of the deepest on earth. That’s why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.

Surrounded by cliffs almost 2,000 feet high and boasting a picturesque island a violent volcanic past, Crater Lake is also home to hikes in old-growth forest and cross-country ski trips in the winter months. Many of the roads and facilities close during the winter, but the park is open and accessible all year long.

Crater Lake is located in Southern Oregon, which is also home to the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the stunning Rogue River, the Oregon Caves and vineyards, chocolatiers and cheesemakers galore.

CLIMATE: Most visitors come to Crater Lake National Park during the months of July through mid-September, when the weather is generally mild with little precipitation. Due to the elevation of the park (6,500 ft. at Park Headquarters and 7,100 ft. at Rim Village), weather conditions may change quickly and a warm jacket and wool sweater are always recommended items to carry. During the winter months, from October through June, weather conditions make preparing for extreme winter conditions necessary. Blizzards, high winds, extreme cold and low visibility dominate the weather patterns. Visitors should come with cold weather gear.

RECREATION: A good place to begin your visit to Crater Lake is at one of the two visitor centers. The Steel Information Center lies south of Rim Drive next to park headquarters and is open year-round. In the summer, the Rim Village Visitor Center is open along Rim Drive on the southern side of the caldera. After gathering information on the park and its facilities visitors can make educated decisions about what recreation opportunities to pursue. Hiking, backpacking, camping, picnicking and sight seeing are popular pursuits within the park. Boating and scenic driving around Rim Drive can be enjoyed by visitors during the summer months. In winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide solitude and a little-known view of the park.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 5.0/5 TripAdvisor Traveler Rating based on 3158 reviews


  • TripAdvisor Rating
    May 22, 2024
    Aakash G


    Stunning views and crystal-clear water! The Rim Drive is a must. Perfect for photography and hiking. Don't miss the boat tour!

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    May 9, 2024

    Far exceeded hopes and expectations.

    As disappointed as we were with Yosemite NP, Crater Lake far exceeded our expectations. We were here in early May, so some of the roads weren’t cleared yet, but the view was totally worth it.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    April 30, 2024
    George B

    Crater Lake in late spring

    Incredible views on April 22nd. Clear skies, calm waters, great reflections, temp in the low 40s. A little difficult to climb the 10' snowbacks for viewing the lake, but well worth the effort. Park staff was helpful, courteous and friendly.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    April 8, 2024

    Many virw points around the Crater and a lots of hikes to do

    This is one of the most spectacular NP of USA. A bit unknown and remote, but the experience is amazing. The view from the Crater is 360. I could experience a sunset and a moon rise in opposite directions. Totally like this National Park.

  • TripAdvisor Rating
    January 17, 2024
    Joseph R

    Come in July-August to avoid road closures.

    We came in mid-June and unfortunately for us, most of the park was still closed due to heavy snow still on the roads. But, we did come up to the visitor's center and take in the views of the lake, and drove to Discovery Point, which was the only place on the drive that was open. We were the only ones in the park when we first arrived, infact I assume there is an entrance fee to get in (I do have an America the Beautiful pass), but when we came up to the guard shack, it was unmanned so we just continued on through. After about 2 hours of being there, the park did start to see some more crowds of people, and by the time we left, there was a long line of people trying to get in, so my advice would be to come early and avoid that crowd. The Lake itself is mesmerizing to look at. The blue hue of the lake is like nothing I've ever seen, and I've seen lots of beautiful alpine lakes in my time. Definitely worth the visit. I don't know that it tops the charts of my favorite national parks, but we were limited with what we were able to do because of the road closures. We spent about 2 hours in the park, which seemed sufficient for not being able to do much.

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