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Crater Lake, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: Dec-22-2011, Hits: 4,598, Rating: 4, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Crater Lake, Oregon Travel Guide Restaurants (6)
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Location: North America
Geography: Mountains, Forest
Vacation Type: Adventure
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path
Costs: Moderate
Attractions: Scenery, Camping, Ecotourism, Fishing, Hiking

Facts and Stats:
Country Dialing Code: 1
Area Code: 541
Language: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: US Dollar
Time Zone: Pacific (PST) UTC-8/UTC-7 (Summer)
Current Time:

Note: This guide also covers nearby Diamond Lake.

Located in south-central Oregon's Klamath County, Crater Lake is one of Oregon's most awe inspiring wonders famous for its clear, deep blue waters. Based on its average depth of 1,148 feet, it is the 3rd deepest lake in the world.

The lake sits in a deep caldera that was formed about 7,700 years ago when the 12,000 foot tall Mount Mazama collapsed into the caldera days after a massive eruption. This eruption is said to have been 42 times as powerful as Mount St. Helens, and spread ash as far away as Yellowston National Park. Over hundreds of years, the caldera filled with water. There are no rivers flowing in or out of the lake, but its water levels are maintained by large amounts of rain snow. The fact that the lake water comes from precipitation, rather than turbid waters, contributes to its incredible clarity.

Crater lake is 5 miles by 6 miles and is 1,949 feet deep at its deepest point. This depth is the 7th deepest in the world, the 2nd deepest in North America, and the deepest in the United States.

The surface of the water is at an elevation of 6,176 feet while the outer rim of the crater is 7,000 to 8,151 (Hillman Peak) creating cliffs nearly 2,000 feet above the lake.

Wizard Island is a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water. It rises 764 feet out of the water and is accessible via boat tours.

Crater Lake is the centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park which covers 286.29 square miles (183,225 acres) of forested land in the Cascade Mountains. The park is the 6th oldest national park in the U.S. and the only one in Oregon.

Getting There & Around:
During the snowy months, many of the roads to Crater Lake are closed. Visit the National Park Service website for information on road closures.

The main visitor destination is Rim Village which is the location of Crater Lake Lodge. The Village can be accessed from the south by taking Hwy 62 to Munson Valley Road which leads to the village. From the north, take the North Entrance Road and continue south to Rim Village. Rim Drive circles the entire caldera and is a 33 mile scenic drive that is popular with visitors. There are many viewpoints along the way for photographing the lake.

Crater Lake is very remote and it is quite a ways to the nearest major town or city. The table below shows the driving distances to nearby places. These distances are to Rim Village.

Fort Klamath23
Shady Cove58
Klamath Falls60

Some sites claim that Medford has the closest major airport, however, Klamath Falls is closer and is serviced by United.

Crater Lake receives a ton of snow during the fall, winter, and spring closing much of the park services and roads during that time. Summers are mild with chilly nights and are the best time to visit. No matter what time of year you come, bring warm clothes.

Below are the current conditions and weather forecast for Crater Lake, Oregon.

The table below shows the average high and low temperatures.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High 35 35 37 42 49 58 68 69 62 52 39 34
Avg Low 18 18 18 21 27 34 40 40 36 30 23 18
Precipitation 9.66" 7.78" 8.09" 4.60" 3.01" 1.98" 0.68" 1.28" 2.38" 4.75" 10.56" 10.84"
Snowfall 85.3" 73.2" 87.5" 43.0" 19.3" 4.0" 0.5" 0.2" 4.1" 21.3" 69.1" 84.0"

Tips & Additional Information:
  • There is no reliable cellular service within the Park.
  • Mazama Village has self-service gas pumps available May through October. Currently only unleaded fuel is sold.

  • Photo Gallery

    User Reviews (1)

    Reviewed by: sloshed
    Review date: Dec-22-2011

    Crater Lake is simply beautiful and a true marvel. On the downside, it is in the middle of nowhere and there isn't much to do here, or nearby. If you are driving through Oregon and have a chance to pass by, you definitely should. You'll walk away with some amazing pics. 

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