Crater Lake National Park is located high in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon. Summer weekends in May-September are peak season, when the loop drive around the lake clogs with traffic.
Situated atop a volcano, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US, and its clarity is unmatched.
Places to Stay When Visiting Crater Lake
If you want lodging inside the park, you may have some trouble finding any availability during the busy summer season. All in-park lodging is on the south rim of the lake. Crater Lake Lodge is the most popular stay, but the Cabins at Mazama Village also offer nights, however these are bare-bones and do not come with any extra amenities like A/C or TVs. There are a handful of campgrounds in this area as well.
Nearby towns that can easily reach Crater Lake’s Visitor Center from:
- Chiloquin, OR (36 miles away)
- Shady Cove, OR (58 miles)
- Klamath Falls, OR (60 miles)
- Medford, OR (80 miles)
Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of amenities within 40-50 miles of this park. Medford is the largest “close” town, and it is an hour and a half away. We stayed in Chiloquin – a small reservation town south of Crater Lake, and there wasn’t much there other than a few Airbnbs. Klamath Falls is probably the best place to stay if you are looking for a decent array of lodging, food, and grocery options near Crater Lake NP.
VISIT Crater Lake National Park:
Crater Lake National Park was established on May 22, 1902, and has a total area of 183,224 acres (286 square miles, or 742 square kilometers).
|Address||Crater Lake National Park, Crater Lake, OR, 97604|
|Hours||The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. But many of the park's roads, trails, and facilities are closed seasonally due to snow.|
|Entrance Fee||$30 in the summer (May 22-October 31), $20 in the winter (November 1-May 21). Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15-passenger capacity or less) and all occupants. Good for 7 days.|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Crater Lake National Park is the 114th most visited park in the country.
Crater Lake is open year round, but the famed Rim Drive around the lake is closed in the winter. Crater Lake gets an unusually large amount of snowfall in the winter, and enormous banks of snow often stick around well into July. We visited this park in 2022, and the West Rim drive was still closed as of June 2nd. That year, it opened up on the 12th of June, which is later than usual, but still within its stated range of Late May to Mid June.
Using Historical Data to Predict
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Crater Lake National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Crater Lake National Park is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Crater Lake National Park are July, August, September & June.
Crater Lake National Park Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Crater Lake National Park is visited.
|Trip Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|Lassen Volcanic, Redwoods to Crater Lake||767||8|
|Crater Lake, Redwoods to Golden Gate Bridge||720||9|
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Crater Lake National Park.
|Tule Lake National Monument||72 mi|
|Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve||85 mi|
|Lava Beds National Monument||89 mi|
|Redwood National Park||146 mi|
|Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area||159 mi|
|John Day Fossil Beds National Monument||169 mi|
|Lassen Volcanic National Park||171 mi|
|Fort Vancouver National Historic Site||189 mi|
|Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area||191 mi|
|Lewis and Clark National Historical Park||238 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Crater Lake National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Mazama - Crater Lake National Park||OR more||3 miles|
|Lost Creek - Crater Lake National Park||OR more||6 miles|
|Huckleberry City||Prospect, OR more||10 miles|
|Scott Creek||Chiloquin, OR more||12 miles|
|Hamaker||Prospect, OR more||13 miles|
|Farewell Bend||Prospect, OR more||15 miles|
|Jackson F. Kimball State Park||Chiloquin, OR more||15 miles|
|Union Creek||Prospect, OR more||15 miles|
|Broken Arrow||Diamond Lake, OR more||15 miles|
|Natural Bridge||Prospect, OR more||16 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Crater Lake National Park:
|Willamette Pass||Crecent Lake, OR||6,683 ft||51%||49 mi|
|Mount Ashland||Ashland, OR||7,533 ft||55%||64 mi|
|Mountain High||Wrightwood, CA||8,200 ft||53%||67 mi|
|Hoodoo Ski Area||Sisters, OR||5,703 ft||49%||77 mi|
|Mt. Bachelor||Bend, OR||9,065 ft||82%||78 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Crater Lake National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Crater Lake National Park.
|Portland International Airport||PDX||Portland, OR||186 mi|
|Reno–Tahoe International Airport||RNO||Reno, NV||266 mi|
|Sacramento International Airport||SMF||Sacramento, CA||293 mi|
|Seattle–Tacoma International Airport||SEA||Seattle, WA||313 mi|
|Oakland International Airport||OAK||Oakland, CA||358 mi|
|San Francisco International Airport||SFO||San Francisco, CA||366 mi|
|Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport||SJC||San Jose, CA||383 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Crater Lake National Park.
|Rogue Valley International Medford Airport||MFR||Medford, OR||52 mi|
|Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport||LMT||Klamath Falls, OR||56 mi|
|Eugene Airport (Mahlon Sweet Field)||EUG||Eugene, OR||99 mi|
|Roberts Field||RDM||Redmond, OR||105 mi|
|Southwest Oregon Regional Airport||OTH||North Bend, OR||111 mi|
|Jack Mc Namara Field Airport||CEC||Crescent City, CA||132 mi|
|Redding Municipal Airport||RDD||Redding, CA||166 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.