Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park

  US National Parks

VISIT Crater Lake National Park:

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.

Park Details

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
Phone541-594-3000
HoursThe 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 MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Crater Lake National Park is the 101st 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.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Park Visits8,0267,80315,31225,68056,74695,155194,712106,37964,15247,19619,4107,180
Precipitation19714013697683913132473184211
Avg Temp363741465361707065554135
Max Temp495156647175818178705848
Avg Temp232326293439464541342723
Min Temp1091417212734342820149
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

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 NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Lassen Volcanic, Redwoods to Crater Lake7678
Crater Lake, Redwoods to Golden Gate Bridge7209

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.

NameDistance
Tule Lake National Monument72 mi
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve85 mi
Lava Beds National Monument89 mi
Redwood National Park146 mi
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area159 mi
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument169 mi
Lassen Volcanic National Park171 mi
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site189 mi
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area191 mi
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park238 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.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Mazama - Crater Lake National ParkOR more 3 miles
Lost Creek - Crater Lake National ParkOR more 6 miles
Huckleberry CityProspect, OR more 10 miles
Scott CreekChiloquin, OR more 12 miles
HamakerProspect, OR more 13 miles
Farewell BendProspect, OR more 15 miles
Jackson F. Kimball State ParkChiloquin, OR more 15 miles
Union CreekProspect, OR more 15 miles
Broken ArrowDiamond Lake, OR more 15 miles
Natural BridgeProspect, 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:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Willamette PassCrecent Lake, OR6,683 ft49%49 mi
Mount AshlandAshland, OR7,500 ft53%64 mi
Mountain HighWrightwood, CA8,200 ft52%67 mi
Hoodoo Ski AreaSisters, OR5,703 ft47%77 mi
Mt. BachelorBend, OR9,065 ft73%78 mi

Nearest Airports

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.

Large Airports

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.

NameCodeCityDistance
Portland International AirportPDXPortland, OR186 mi
Reno–Tahoe International AirportRNOReno, NV266 mi
Sacramento International AirportSMFSacramento, CA293 mi
Seattle–Tacoma International AirportSEASeattle, WA313 mi
Oakland International AirportOAKOakland, CA358 mi
San Francisco International AirportSFOSan Francisco, CA366 mi
Norman Y. Mineta San José International AirportSJCSan Jose, CA383 mi
Medium Airports

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.

NameCodeCityDistance
Rogue Valley International Medford AirportMFRMedford, OR52 mi
Crater Lake-Klamath Regional AirportLMTKlamath Falls, OR56 mi
Eugene Airport (Mahlon Sweet Field)EUGEugene, OR99 mi
Roberts FieldRDMRedmond, OR105 mi
Southwest Oregon Regional AirportOTHNorth Bend, OR111 mi
Jack Mc Namara Field AirportCECCrescent City, CA132 mi
Redding Municipal AirportRDDRedding, CA166 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.