Crater Lake National Park Trip Planner

For a brief time each year, Crater Lake National Park emerges from winter hibernation to bask in summertime glory. Early season visitors are often surprised by the amount of snow which remains long into months which are considered mid-summer in most parts of the country. Even most park roads are closed into the late spring which gives a picture of the far more dominant winter scene sensed even in June and early July. During this brief summertime window, one magnificent day typically follows another. For visitors, these few months provide the best opportunity for a comfortable visit. Many interpretive programs are offered which encourage a deeper understanding of the lake and the park. Hiking and camping are popular activities. Fishing for trout and salmon in the lake is also a favorite pastime. And for park staff, this short season provides the only access to numerous projects long buried under the snow. However, from October to June, the park turns into a snow covered wilderness, receiving an average of 533 inches of snow annually. A wide variety of trails and unplowed roads provide winter enthusiasts with access to breathtaking views, open slopes, and dense forests, making Crater Lake ideal for both day trippers and backcountry campers who are prepared to face the challenges of winter. By early spring it is typical to have 10 to 15 feet of snow on the ground. While snowfall is common in the Cascade Mountains, Crater Lake is one of the snowiest areas in the entire Northwest. Even in the long, harsh winter months, Crater Lake National Park can still provide the hearty visitor with a phenomenal outdoor experience.

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