It’s winter! ❄
Crater Lake is a National Park localised in Oregon and one of the most beautiful. It’s the deepest lake in the USA with a depth of 1943 feet. The water’s intense blue color will take your breath away, especially during the summer.
What to expect during winter ?
A lot of snow of course. Temperatures are very low. When we arrived around 6am the temperature was -16°F and it can be worse (my camelback froze in barely 5min… who couldn’t drink anymore ? I’ll let you guess 😅😉, little tip : blow into the water tube until the water return in the camelback) Most of the park is closed due to the snow but the access to the lake is still possible by the South Entrance that leads to the Rim Village, check out the road conditions. 1 day is enough to explore around.
When skies are clear, excellent views of Crater Lake. During storms, the lake is usually obscured by clouds. From late November through early March, the lake is typically visible only about 50% of the time.
Winter Road Closure
The park’s North Entrance Road is closed for the winter. The 30-mile Rim Drive around the lake is also closed, which is too bad cause most of the amazing overlooks are on the Rim Drive like Watchman Overlook and Watchman Peak.
You can enter the park through the West Entrance or the South Entrance on Hwy 62. The 7-mile road from Hwy 62 to Rim Village is also open year-round, although the last 3 miles (from Park HQ to Rim Village) are sometimes closed for days or weeks due to periods of heavy snow. We came by the South Entrance and the road was openned. To find out if the road to Rim Village is open you can call the visitor center at 541-594-3100 or check out the website.
All hiking trails are buried under snow. Cross-country skis or snowshoes are recommended. This is how you will be able to explore around the lake and reach my favorite overlook called Watchman overlook. Unfortunately we didn’t have snowshoes, it was sometimes hard to walk in the snow and made us too exhausted to reach this overlook (I have to confess we drove all night and probably slept 2h each, 😅) but we had a great time and could enjoy a really amazing view of the lake
Snowshoe rentals are available at the Rim Village Gift Shop when the road to Rim Village is open.
Road Trip from Seattle
When we went there in September the North Entrance was opened, it was about 6h drive. This time we had to enter by the South Entrance, which is 8h drive.
Like usual, we drove at night to arrive early in the morning on Saturday. We spent the day until the Sunset. That allowed us to spend Sunday on our way back around Mt Hood cause I really wanted to explore this place.