7 Best Things to Do in Crater Lake

7 Best Things to Do in Crater Lake

7 Best Things to Do in Crater Lake

When you have the right knowledge and a well-thought-out strategy, there are a plethora of awe-inspiring, unique, bedazzling, and great things to do in the Crater Lake National Park. 



These are only a handful of the expressions that have been used to describe Crater Lake National Park, which is located in the southern Oregon region. At this essay, I will provide a summary of the many activities available in Crater Lake National Park.



According to all assessments and standards, it is one of the most interesting National Parks in the United States. And, not surprisingly, there are a plethora of activities to participate in at Crater Lake National Park.



Crater Lake was formed 7,700 years ago by a volcanic eruption and subsequent fall of Mount Mazama, and it is today the ideal of peace and calm in the world. Due to the volcano’s massive eruption, tons of ash were thrown across 1000s of square miles, effectively eliminating the volcano’s deep, steep-walled crater.



Snow and rain eventually accumulated in the crater, resulting in the formation of what is now aptly known as Crater Lake.

Crater Lake has a depth of 1,943 feet (592 meters), which fluctuates somewhat depending on the season, making it the deepest lake in the United States. This one-of-a-kind pure function is made possible by its almost perfect spherical shape combined with a handful of the cleanest and clearest bodies of water on earth.



It is important to note that there are no springs or rivers that feed the lake; all of the water comes from snowfall and rainfall, which explains its clarity and purity. On top of that, the lake might be entirely dry at any time.



The absence of ripples allows the water to reflect the blue sky, earning it the title of “the bluest lake on earth,” while at night the water twinkles with the lights of a thousand stars.



The following are seven things to do at Crater Lake National Park:

There are other volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest, ranging from Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens to Mount Hood and Mount Adams, but none of them are as spectacular as Crater Lake in terms of sheer scale and magnificence.



The caldera and surrounding area were designated as a National Park in 1902, making it one of a series of volcanic National Parks in the Western United States—others include Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, and Lassen Volcanic National Park.



You’ll have much to choose from if you’re looking for things to do in Crater Lake, and there are enough options to keep you occupied for several days. Points of interest around Crater Lake range from picturesque drives to boat trips and hikes, so there’s something for everyone.

The following are the seven most important things to do at Crater Lake National Park.

The Cleetwood Cove Trail is the first of them.

The Cleetwood Cove Trail is 3.4 kilometers in length and is positioned near to Crater Lake, Oregon. It contains a lake and is rated as average by hikers and mountain bikers. The route offers a variety of workout options and is most popular from July through October, when it is most heavily utilized.



From the Crater Lake Rim roadway, descend and climb again to the coastline at the only boat dock in the park, where you will be rewarded with stunning views of the lake and its surrounding rim.



On the rear of the path, at and near to the boat dock, you’ll find the only shoreline access in Crater Lake National Park. The Cleetwood Cove trail gives great lake vistas as well as an entry to the lake on the reverse of the trail at and close to the boat dock.

The steep track, which is 2.2 miles round trip and gains around 700 feet in height, takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours and is difficult to navigate.



The ascent is tough, with an 11 percent slope to contend with. In addition to boat tours around the lake and to Wizard Island, tickets may be purchased at the boat dock, which is located at the trail’s highest point. Hiking at CLNP should be on the list of things to do.



Drive the Rim Drive is the second option.

The Rim Drive is the most popular attraction in Crater Lake National Park, and it’s not hard to see why. This 33-mile-long (53-kilometer-long) roadway, which round the whole lake, is undoubtedly one of the largest National Park highways in the United States.

This scenic trip gives you with the opportunity to observe the lake from every possible perspective imaginable. More than 30 pullouts and a number of trailheads dot the route, beckoning visitors to park their cars—and explore the surrounding area.

In the event that they aren’t bicycling the Rim Drive, they may relax and take in the breathtaking scenery and natural surroundings.




Please keep in mind that the Crater Lake Rim Drive will be closed on November 1st owing to significant snowfall throughout the winter months (or sooner in case of great snowfall).

It is possible that the West Rim Drive may reopen somewhere between the middle of June and the end of June, while the East Rim Drive will reopen between the middle and end of June, depending on snow conditions.




It is always possible to get up to current information on highway conditions and closures by visiting the park’s website.

The Rim Drive is home to almost all of the important attractions in Crater Lake National Park, which is located on or near the road.



Despite the fact that there are several points of interest in various parts of the park, Crater Lake itself is the undisputed star of the show at the moment. One of the most straightforward ways to observe it is to take a drive along the Crater Lake Rim Drive.

Don’t miss out on the following 10 Rim Drive highlights along the route, which are listed in clockwise order from Rim Village:


Discovery Point at the Sinnott Memorial Overlook

Devil’s Backbone is overseen by the watchman.
Llao Rock Cloud Cap Overlook is a scenic viewpoint in the Llao Mountains.
Pumice Castle Overlook is a scenic viewpoint in the Pumice Mountains.
Overlook of the Phantom Ship
The Pinnacles and Plaikni Falls are two of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world (by way of a 7-mile spur highway)
Vidae Falls is a waterfall in the United States.




3. Visit the Crater Lake Lodge for some rest and relaxation.

Rustic in design and dating back to 1915, this rustic lodge is undoubtedly one of the most prominent man-made attractions in Crater Lake National Park.

You may have a healthy breakfast each morning, a daily glass of wine along the Nice Corridor, or a well-deserved supper each evening.




The lodge is one of a number of historic lodges in national parks around the western United States, and it is a beautiful example of what is known as “parkitecture” (park architecture). It is open from the middle of October till the middle of November.





Visit Wizard Island through a boat trip.

Crater Lake National Park is unique on the planet since it has a lake that is fully spherical, blue, and serene.

But it also has another claim to fame: it is one of just a few places on the planet where you can see a volcano inside a volcano, making it one of the most unusual places on the planet.



Its cinder cone, which rises 763 feet (233 meters) above Crater Lake and is the pinnacle of a submerged volcano that rises 2,500 feet (762 meters) from the lake’s underbelly, is the highest point on the island.

While kayaking and canoeing are not permitted in Crater Lake as a precaution against the introduction of invasive species, boat tours to Wizard Island and/or across the lake are available, and are a particularly enjoyable activity for children in Crater Lake to participate in.




A lot of transportation options are available, but the Wizard Island Shuttle is by far the most convenient. The shuttle departs at Cleetwood Cove and is accessible by means of the steep Cleetwood route, which is located on the northern edge of Lake Superior.

Three hours are spent on Wizard Island climbing, exploring, and swimming, which is a highlight of the tour.

5. Phantom Ship (also spelled Phantom Ship)

Phantom Ship is a tiny island located in Crater Lake in the state of Oregon, in the United States. It’s a pure rock formation pillar that gets its name from its resemblance to a ghost ship, which is especially noticeable in foggy and low-light conditions, and which gives it its identity.




6. Hike up Garfield Peak (about a mile).

Mountaineering is one of the most popular activities in Crater Lake National Park, second only to driving or bicycling the Rim Drive. It is also one of the most difficult.

Around Crater Lake, there are around 90 miles (145 kilometers) of trails, the most of which are day hikes.



Carry a fantastic Crater Lake map, some hiking food, and a sense of adventure as you set out for a day of volcanic exploration.

Garfield Summit, a steep and arduous 3.6-mile (5.8-kilometer) roundtrip trek to a dominating peak in Crater Lake, is one of the many outstanding hikes in the area. The views are stunning both on the way up and at the top, taking in the lake and the surrounding landscape as you ascend.




It is possible to find the trailhead on the eastern end of Rim Village by walking behind the Crater Lake Lodge on the paved path that surrounds it. It is recommended that you allow two to three hours for this magnificent walk.




Alternative for those looking for something a little more challenging: a tough 4.4-mile (7.1-kilometer) roundtrip trek up Mount Scott, the park’s highest point, with spectacular lake views in the morning.

For a shorter climb, try the 1.6-mile (2.6-kilometer) roundtrip hike to Watchman Peak, which offers panoramic views and has become standard for sunset viewing.

7 Best Things to Do in Crater Lake
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7. Take a look at the sunrise above Crater Lake.

One of the many unforgettable experiences at Crater Lake National Park is watching the sun gently rise over the rim and illuminate the landscape with yellows and oranges. Watching the sun slowly rise over the rim is one of the park’s many highlights. You may stop at any pullout or viewpoint; however, my personal favorite location is the Discovery Level path.



This short route starts at the Crater Lake Lodge, but you may access it from a variety of locations along the first section of the West Rim Drive.

What I really like about this particular path is the variety of rocks, tree roots, and outcrops, which provide excellent viewpoint points and foregrounds for photographing wildlife.



8. Pay a visit to Plaikni Falls

In addition to the actual Crater Lake, the National Park offers a plethora of other natural attractions to explore and appreciate. In the Crater Lake National Park areas of interest, you’ll find everything from towering forests to pumice plains to breathtaking waterfalls. There’s something for everyone.




Plaikni Falls, a lesser-known climb along Pinnacles Highway off the Rim Drive, is one of my favorite places in the whole park and is considered one of my favorite sites in the entire park.

This easy 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) roundtrip journey takes you through a lovely old-growth forest to a lush waterfall that is highlighted by colorful wildflowers, grassy areas, and several cascades. The hike is moderate in difficulty.




9. Spend the night at Mazama Campground.

For those looking for a spot to camp for the night, the Mazama Campground is the best option. It is located 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of Rim Village, just off Freeway 62. It’s a reasonably big campsite, with 214 sites, although it doesn’t seem particularly vast in comparison to other campgrounds.




All websites are designed with privacy and tranquillity in mind, giving you the impression that you’re tenting in the middle of nowhere. However, a variety of services are accessible in Mazama Village, including a fuel station, café, laundry services, a grocery store, potable water, baths, and flush toilets.




You may unwind with a cold beer by the campfire after spending the day outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Furthermore, it is the most convenient location to change into your hiking shoes and fill up on petrol before continuing on your journey into the park.




Mazama Campground is open from June to September, depending on the weather. All websites are available on a first-come, first-served basis in June. During the duration of the summer, 75 percent of the available spaces may be booked in advance, with the remaining 25 percent available on a first-come, first-served basis.




Summer weekends in July and August are notoriously busy, so get there early if you don’t have an established campsite reserved ahead of time. Make a reservation for your camping right here if you want to be extra safe.



Mount Scott is tenth on the list.

Located on the southeast face of Crater Lake, Mount Scott is a tiny stratovolcano with a so-called parasitic cone that may be found in southern Oregon.

It has been around for around 420,000 years. Its summit is the highest point inside Crater Lake National Park, and it is the ninth highest mountain in the Oregon Cascades, according to the National Geographic.




A tiny fireplace observation tower is on the summit, at the end of a route that zigzags nearly 1,500 feet up the mountain before coming to a stop. The mountain is named after Oregon pioneer Levi Scott, who is credited with creating the town of Scottsburg, Oregon.




Crater Lake National Park has a variety of accommodations.
When it comes to Crater Lake National Park accommodation, you will have a choice between four distinct options to consider.

Mazama Campground: The most effective, and by far the most significant, campground inside the park, Mazama Campground accepts bookings for practically all of its websites during the months of July, August, and September.




Misplaced Creek Campground: The crucial and much smaller Misplaced Creek Campground, which offers 16 tent sites, may serve as an alternative for Mazama Campground when the latter is unavailable. During their hours of operation, which are from early July through mid-October, websites are always first-come, first-served.





You may reserve one of the Mazama Village Cabins if you’re looking for something a little more opulent than the campground. These accommodations, which are adjacent to the Mazama Campground, provide a roof over your head, hot showers, and a comfortable bed. Open from the end of May until the end of September.




This luxury lodge in Crater Lake National Park has 71 comfy rooms, a strong Nice Corridor, and a wonderful 1920s ambience. Crater Lake Lodge is the most deluxe location to stay in Crater Lake National Park, and it is the most luxurious place to stay in Oregon. From late-October through the end of November, the museum is open.




Except for the Misplaced Creek Campground, all housing at Crater Lake is maintained by Crater Lake Hospitality, a non-profit organization. Examine their website for information on operating hours, costs, bookings, and other pertinent details.





How Long Should You Spend at Crater Lake National Park?

In order to fully appreciate the wonders of Crater Lake, you’ll need at the very least one day and one night, as well as a (rental) car.

For example, it makes for an incredible, if somewhat long, journey from Portland to the Grand Canyon. However, it is mainly notable as a stopover on any road trip to the National Parks of the Pacific Northwest region.




You now have a better understanding of things to do at Crater Lake National Park, and it seems like you will have a full day ahead of you. Traveling the Rim Drive, taking a boat trip on Crater Lake, and visiting the Crater Lake Lodge are all things that may be accomplished in a one long day of activity.




You do, however, allow yourself one more day to engage in some serious climbing. Take advantage of the park’s spectacular evening sky by spending the night there, and then explore some of the trails the following day.

Garfield Peak, Mount Scott, Plaikni Falls, and the Rim Trail to Watchman Peak are among the treks that are recommended.




Consider spending at least two days, one or two nights, and one or two days and one or two nights at Crater Lake National Place if you’re trying to decide how long to stay in this beautiful park.



The best time to visit Crater Lake National Park is between May and September.
There are things to do at Crater Lake National Park at all times of the year, so plan ahead of time. Walking up mountain peaks and driving along the picturesque Rim Drive are best done during the summer months (and only during the summer months).




Summertime is a great time to visit the heart of the park since all of the roads are clear of snow and open for traffic to get there. Please keep in mind that the months of July and August are fire season in certain areas, and that wildfire smoke may reduce visibility.




From October through May, the majority of consumer services, including fuel stations, accommodation, and the Rim Visitor Center, are shut down for maintenance. While the main tourist center is closed during the winter, it remains open throughout the year.

Winter has the extra benefit of a layer of snow covering the landscape, which adds a basic majesty to the scene. The disadvantage is that during the summer months, outside access is limited due to weather conditions.




When it comes to plowed roads in the winter, Roadway 62 and the highway to Rim Village are the most common. In contrast to summer, winter is much more peaceful and calm, attracting those who like snowshoing, cross-country skiing, and snow camping among other activities.




As a result, each summer season and each winter season have their own set of benefits, depending on which of the Crater Lake National Park sites of interest you choose to see or do during your visit.




Visit Crater Lake in early July for the simple reason that you will be able to do the whole Rim Drive, go tenting, and hike a couple of the trails. While most of the snow will have melted by that time, wildfire smoke will still be a non-issue.