Crater Lake, South Entrance

#1 of 31 trails in Crater Lake National Park

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Spectacular Volcanic Lake at Crater Lake National Park with multiple rim hikes, Rim Drive, can hike to lake level at Cleetwood Cove, see millions of stars on clear nights.
"Like No Place Else On Earth
Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom."

From NP Website:
Getting to the Park

Please be aware that areas in and close to the park have little to no cell phone coverage. In planning your trip, also know that from November to May, there is no gasoline for sale in the park. The nearest gas stations are 35 miles away in the towns of Chiloquin and Prospect.

For GPS: The park has no physical address. The Steel Visitor Center (open year round) is at 42 53' 48.91"N 122 08' 03.08"W or you can enter "Crater Lake" as a town or waypoint.

The closest airports are located in Klamath Falls (60 miles from the park) and Medford (80 miles from the park). Car rentals are available in both towns.

AmTrak provides service to Klamath Falls (60 miles from the park). From there, it is possible to rent a car or arrange a shuttle (seasonal).

Public Transportation
At this time, no public transportation is available to access the park.

Roads inside and close to the park are typical mountain roads with many curves and a number of drop-offs. Weather can change suddenly, with snowstorms even in August. Drive cautiously especially if you're not used to mountain driving.

From the South (Year Round):
From Medford - Route 62 north and east to the park's west entrance.
From Klamath Falls - Route 97 north to Route 62 north and west to the park's south entrance.

From the North (Summer):
The park's north entrance is closed in the winter and spring. Dates can vary, but typically the north entrance is closed from early November to June. Please call park dispatch for the latest road status (541)594-3000.
From Roseburg - Route 138 east to the park's north entrance.
From Bend - Route 97 south to Route 138 west to the park's north entrance.

From the North (Winter):
From Roseburg - Route 138 east to Route 230 south to Route 62 east to the park's west entrance.
From Bend - Route 97 south to Route 62 north and west to the park's south entrance.

Ample Parking at pullouts around the lake.
Visitor Centers
Steel Visitor Center - Open 10AM-4PM daily (except December 25) from early November to early April. Open 9AM-5PM daily from late April to early November. Inside the visitor center building, a US Post Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10AM-2PM in winter and 9:00AM-Noon and 1PM-3PM in the summer.

Rim Visitor Center - Open late May through late September, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM daily. Closed October to May.


Rim Village Cafe and Gifts - Open daily 9:00 am - 6 pm. Operating Hours: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm in mid October to April. Extended hours start late April to September. Closed Thanksgiving Day and December 25.

Annie Creek Restaurant (at Mazama Village) - Open Daily, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm start late May through at least early September. Extended hours in July and August. Closed sometime in late September or early October to May.

Mazama Village Camper Store - Open daily, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm late May to late September. Closed October to May. Gasoline available mid May to mid October. No gasoline available in the park from November through April.

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room - Open daily, mid May to mid October. Closed mid October to late May.

Crater Lake National Park
P.O. Box 7
Crater Lake, Oregon 97604

Phone: (541) 594-3000
Fax: (541) 594-3010



62 Completed 4 Reviews

Beautiful! Also be sure to seek out the Pinnacles.

Try to avoid days when there are bike events. I'm not sure how often they're held at Crater Lake, but there is no shoulder and it's slightly stressful trying to drive around the cyclists because there are blind curves. Nothing against them, but when there are several cyclists and several tourists in cars, it was difficult to drive.



524 Completed 169 Reviews

Entering from the South Entrance, Crater Lake treated us to a fantastic time over two days - here are some of our activities: Steele Information Center has a nice 18 min video open 9-5, the Rim VC open 9:30-4:30, note there is a 2 hr trolley ride around entire rim drive w/4 stops (we had a rental and stopped where we wanted to).

1. Sun Notch Viewpoint - 20 minutes, steep 0.25 miles one way to views watch cliffs! Moderate - TH: 4 miles east of Park HQ on the East Rim Dr. View of CL and Phantom Ship
2. Pinnacles Trail - 30 minutes, 1 mile out to OL and back, Easy - TH: End of Pinnacles Spur Road, 7 miles south of Phantom Ship Overlook/7 miles from Steele Info Ctr, Views of volcanic spires in canyon walls. Not a must see, best probably in early morning as sun hits the spires.
3. Garfield Peak - best hike in the park... Time: 2-3 hours; 1.7 miles one way, Moderate - TH: Follow sidewalk on lakeside of Crater Lake Lodge going east to start dirt trail, Panoramic epic views of Lake. May be closed due to snow.
4. Watchman Peak Sunset Hike with ranger for sunsets; starts 1 hr before sunset to historic fire lookout, check with VC for times. 1.6 mi. RT, 1 hr - TH at Watchman Overlook, 3.7 mi. north of Rim Village on West Rim Drive. we did this on a brilliant sun-drenched Tuesday afternoon.
5. MUST DO: Cleetwood Cove (only lake shore access), 1.5 hours, 1.1 miles one way, Moderate to strenuous, 11% grade, TH: 4.5 miles east of junction of East Rim Road and North Entrance Road, Lake shore and boat dock. Jump from 18-ft rock ledge into 55 degree lake.

Other hikes - we did not do, but if we had extra time:
6. Wizard Island hike (take boat over from Cleetwood Cove 1.75 hrs and hike 2 miles to summit. Boats $19-39, see - - note you can take 3 hrs to a half day for this).
7. Mt. Scott - 3 hrs, 5 miles RT (90 mins up an 60 mins down steep in spots), Strenuous - TH: 14 miles east of Park HQ on East Rim Dr. Highest point in park with views of historic fire lookout and CL.

Overlooks: Cloudcap @ 8,000, Watchman Trail and Overlook (turquoise pools), Pumice Pt. (u-shaped glaciers), Phantom Ship (best is to drive rim road clockwise). Other overlooks Discovery Point (2.2 mi. RT), Pinnacle Overlook, Sun Notch (.25 mile hike to Overlook),

Crater Lake Lodge Dinner reservations - call 541-594-2255 x3217
Drive around lake is 33 miles, and don't miss watching the stars at night, you see 'em all - the Milky Way is clearly visible...
We had a great time, with great weather (in July) and excellent hiking. Highly recommend this park!



17 Completed 10 Reviews

Crater Lake is breathtaking and a must see if you are in Oregon!

We went during late summer and didn't experience insane crowds, and brought our dog with no problems!



49 Completed 8 Reviews

It's beautiful and like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. The waterfalls and surrounding areas are just as beautiful as the lake itself.



68 Completed 61 Reviews

Crater Lake, one of the leading natural features in the state of Oregon, beholds a breathtaking view that no photograph can possibly accurately portray. The colors are deep hues of blue and green, which is beautiful while set against either the summer fauna or winter snow. A must see!!



4 Completed 15 Reviews

Crater lake is stunning. Whether you go in the spring, summer, or winter months, be prepared to take alot of beautiful pictures. If you camp in the fall, around late August-September, it can be nearly 90 degree outside during the day, but in the moringing there can be a carpet of snow on the ground (I know this first hand!). There are many trails and wilderness areas to explore, however, during the spring and summer months don't expect to be the only one visiting. IT CAN BE VERY CROWDED!



22 Completed 36 Reviews

My family and I were visiting the Ashland area and wanted to see the famous Crater Lake , a couple hundred miles away. The area approaching the national park is heavily pine forested with not many views, but It was well worth the drive! The day was gorgeous and the view of the lake from numerous lookout points were spectacular! The very deep blue of the large lake was especially impressive. The much photographed focal point, Wizard Island, is a collapsed volcanic cone near the south side of the lake.