Crater Lake National Park
Rim Village Visitor Center: The Rim Visitor Center is located at Rim Village, approximately 200 meters east of the gift shop and cafeteria. Perched on the rim of the caldera, the center offers backcountry permits, books, maps and other educational materials. Late June through Labor Day hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Early June and September, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cafeteria and gift shop at Rim Village are open summers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and winters from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Mazama Village Store is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Steel Information Center: The Steel Center at park headquarters in Munson Valley is open every day except Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A park ranger is on duty to assist with information, weather forecasts, backcountry camping permits, ski route advisories, and safety tips. A 20-minute film, The Crater Lake Story, describes the formation of Crater Lake through a story passed down by Native Americans of this area. It is shown throughout the day in the auditorium. For more information, the Steel Information Center may be contacted at 541-594-2211, extension 402.
Books, maps, posters, postcards, and educational materials are available for purchase here from the Crater Lake Natural History Association. The Steel Center has public restrooms and is fully accessible. A post office is also located in this building, open summers Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Winter hours are 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Sinnott Memorial Overlook and Museum: Built in 1930 and 1931, the Sinnott Memorial Overlook is located below the caldera rim at Rim Village. A short but steep path begins near the Rim Visitor Center. The Overlook and its accompanying museum are available to visitors as staff is available.
Exhibits focus on the history of research on the lake and the geologic history of Mt. Mazama. Ranger talks relating the formation of Crater Lake are given from the Overlook daily at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. from June 26 through September 5.
Directions and Services
From the North: 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. (The park's north entrance is typically closed for the winter season from mid-October to mid-June.)
From the South: 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.
Automotive Needs: Unleaded gasoline, oil, and some basic automotive needs are available at the Mazama Village Store. Regular and Diesel fuels are not available. There are no mechanics available in the park. Tow services come from Chemult or Prospect, Oregon.
Mazama Village Store: The store is located at the Annie Springs Entrance near the junction with Route 62. Convenience store items, a coin-operated laundry, and shower facilities are available. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 10 through September 11, then 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through October 30.
There are two developed campgrounds at Crater Lake. Mazama Campground is located near the Annie Springs Entrance Station. Lost Creek Campground is accessed by taking East Rim Drive to the Pinnacles road. Campsites are all on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are taken. Camping opportunities are also available at several locations outside the park.
Mazama Campground: This 198-site campground is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Fresh water, flush toilets, a dump station, pay showers, and laundry facilities are available. There are no utility hookups. Fires are permitted in designated fireplaces only. Firewood is available for purchase at the Mazama Store. Campers are allowed to collect only dead and downed wood. Mazama is open from June 11 to October 4, weather permitting.
Lost Creek Campground: A 16-site tents-only campground is operated by the National Park Service. The campground opens in July and closes for the season in mid-September. Check at the park visitor centers for exact opening and closing dates. These sites fill by early afternoon so campers should select sites upon arrival.
Food and Lodging
Food: Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers three types of dining. The Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room is located in the Crater Lake Lodge. The Lodge Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from May 26 to October 17. The Café is located adjacent to the Gift Shop at Rim Village and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner year-round with reduced hours in the winter. The Watchman Buffet is upstairs from the Café and offers a dinner buffet from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., June 11 through September 12.
Lodging: Crater Lake Lodge, with 71 rooms, is open to visitors from late May to early October. Reservations are taken up to two years in advance; call 541-830-8700. The original lodge opened to visitors in 1915. A renovation completed in the fall of 1994 replaced the deteriorated structure with new construction, and restored the building to its 1920's appearance and atmosphere.
The Mazama Village Motor Inn is located at Annie Springs, near the Route 62 junction. Two units are designed for wheelchair accessibility. The Motor Inn is open from June 4 to October 4. Check-in is at the Mazama Village Store. To reserve rooms in advance, contact 541-830-8700.
In general, summer weather is fairly predictable at Crater Lake. However, at times throughout the summer, there may be days when the lake is completely covered in clouds and fog. May and June can vary from warm, sunny days in the 60s to temperatures down into the 30s, with several feet of snow and poor lake visibility.
July, August, and September are the best months for dry, warmer weather. An average daytime high temperature during these months is in the 70s, but can range from the 40s through the low 80s. Temperatures cool off rapidly in the evening, with a typical nighttime low around 40, while some nights dip below freezing. Summer thunderstorms occur from June through mid-September, bringing dramatic displays of lightning and high winds. Boat tours, guided walks, and evening programs may be canceled if lightning is seen in the park. October usually presents cool but sunny days and brings the start of winter snowfall by mid-month.
Winter usually begins in early to mid-October and lasts until June. November through April is assuredly snowy with poor visibility and fair to poor driving conditions, but wonderful skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. Temperatures during the winter months range from an average high of 43 degrees F to an average low of 19 degrees F.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication