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What is the Best Time to Visit Crater Lake National Park?

The state of Oregon is rich with natural beauty. Perhaps no view is more stunning than that of Crater Lake, America’s deepest lake. A visit to Crater Lake National Park should be on every adventurer’s to-do list, but severe winter weather can limit access to many of the park’s most beloved activities. Travelers looking for campgrounds near the park may need to schedule their visit during the more favored summer months.

Things to do at Crater Lake Park

Whether you’re planning a day or week, there is plenty to experience at Crater Lake Park. Take a look at four of the most popular activities visitors can enjoy.

  1. Take in the view. Hikers can explore 90 miles of trails, including the historic 33-mile Rim Drive that encircles Crater Lake and includes 30 different overlooks. But you don’t have to be in peak physical condition to enjoy the view. Wheelchair-accessible trolleys are another way to access Rim Drive. Trolley tours include an onboard Ranger to offer narration and keep the fun going during the two-hour trip.
  2. Walk and talk with a Ranger. Several times a day, park rangers offer short informative talks at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook. You can also join a Ranger-led sunset hike or take part in the nightly evening programs held in the Camp group’s amphitheater.
  3. Become a Ranger. Junior-Ranger programs provide kids 6 to 12 with park-related activities that are so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning. Junior Rangers can earn patches and badges to commemorate their experience.
  4. Fishing in Crater Lake is an adventure no angler will want to miss. It is not believed that fish were native to the lake, but a stocking program that ran from 1888 to 1941 has resulted in a thriving population of both kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. No fishing license is needed within the park, but regulations are strictly enforced.

Looking for Campgrounds near Crater Lake? Don’t wait too Long to Book

Crater Lake Park is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day, but many of the facilities, roads and trails are closed in the winter due to snow. The best way to make sure you and your family can participate in the activities listed above is to plan your stay during the peak season from July through August.

May, June, and September are also great months to travel in the park, but the weather is a little less predictable. There are fewer crowds during the “shoulder” season, but some trails may not yet be open in spring. And keep in mind that even early fall weather can be unpredictable. 

Like most national parks, this one is bustling during the summer season. Finding lodging, especially campgrounds near Crater Lake, can be difficult if you don’t plan in advance.

Campgrounds like the Crater Lake Resort are more than just a place to park your tent. Whether you prefer primitive camping, glamping, or a quaint cabin with a full kitchen, this campground has got you covered. With a full line-up of amenities and on-site activities, staying at Crater Lake Resort is part of the fun. 

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