Crater Lake National Park   9 comments

Where Is It: 230 miles south of Portland, OR. Note that there’s very little cell coverage in the park, and the nearest gas stations are 35 miles away in Chiloquin or Prospect, OR.

The Birth: From Crater Lake National

William Gladstone Steel, the father of Crater Lake National Park, devoted his life and fortune to the establishment and management of Crater Lake National Park. He had been preoccupied with Crater Lake since 1870 when he was a sixteen year old boy in Kansas. He learned of Crater Lake by reading a newspaper that was use to wrap his lunch. Two years later he moved to Oregon and in 1885 he and a druggist named John Beck joined a group headed for Crater Lake.

When the two men, Steel and Beck finally spotted the lake, the water was so blue it startled them. “All ingenuity of nature seems to have been exerted to the fullest capacity to build a grand awe-inspiring temple the likes of which the world has never seen before,” said Steel. His involvement with Crater Lake covered 49 years. After it was made a national park, he realized his work had just begun.

In his efforts to bring recognition to the park, he participated in lake surveys that provided scientific support. He named many of the lake’s landmarks, including Wizard Island, Llao Rock, and Skell Head.

Steel’s dream was realized on May 22, 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill giving Crater Lake national park status. And because of Steel’s involvement, Crater Lake Lodge was opened in 1915 and the Rim Drive was completed in 1918.

Size: 183,224 acres

# Visitors: 94,048 visitors in 2013. Peak attendance was in August.

Choices: From

Take in the beauty of Crater Lake at more than 20 scenic overlooks along 33-mile Rim Drive. A seven-mile spur road departs from east Rim Drive, providing access to the Pinnacles Overlook and Lost Creek Campground.

From mid-October until mid-June, the north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to the public due to deep snow and ice buildups along the road. Rim Drive around the east side of the lake can be closed earlier than mid-October and may not open until July. Deer and other wildlife crossing the road and icy conditions at any time of the year can be hazardous to drivers. In winter, the closest available gas stations are in Prospect and Chiloquin, both approximately 40 miles from Rim Village and Park Headquarters.

Fees: $10 for a 7 day pass.

Staying There: The Park has 2 campgrounds that are open May – October. There are 2 private lodges in the Park as well.

Contact Info:

P.O. Box 7
Crater Lake, Oregon 97604
(541) 594-3000

Current Issues: According to, the snow pack this year on April 7 is only 66″, versus 120″ in a normal year.


National Park Service: Crater Lake National Park

Great Photos of the World: Crater Lake


9 responses to “Crater Lake National Park

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  1. Beautiful! Pictures can’t totally capture the intense blue of the lake, or the kind of creepy vibe given off by the place. My boys and I met extended family there a couple summers ago and went sledding in July!

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