Best Time to Visit Crater Lake

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the USA, making it a famous tourist attraction. Located in Oregon, the attraction offers stunning views of crystal blue waters with a picturesque mountain backdrop. The water sits deep in a volcano and is filled with fresh rain and snow, making it highly pristine. You’ll want to add Crater Lake to your bucket list so you can experience the beauty and clear water for yourself!

When to Visit Crater Lake

Crater Lake sees the most visitors during July, August, or September when the weather is most pleasant. This means that more of the park is likely to be open so you can spend your days exploring and adventuring. 


That being said, May and June are other terrific options for visiting the park. Just keep in mind that late snowfall might lead to some areas of the park being closed or restricted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate Crater Lake for the impressive site that it is. You’ll also have to battle fewer crowds, allowing you to have some tranquillity in the park and find unrivalled photo spots!

Getting to Crater Lake

Looking to get to Crater Lake? You have a couple of options. Firstly, you can absolutely drive and make Crater Lake a stop on a road trip. Having your own car also means you can cruise along the epic scenic drive in the national park! 


Alternatively, you can get the train to Crater Lake. This service runs between June and October, departing from Klamath Falls and arriving at Rim Village.


Finally, you can fly to an airport close by to Crater Lake and make your way from there. This is the most common option for interstate visitors and those coming from overseas. Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport does service flights from overseas destinations. However, these may be limited depending on where you are coming from. Portland International Airport sees many more international flights, but it is located 4 hours from Crater Lake. It may be possible to get a domestic flight between the two airports. Otherwise, you can rent a car and drive to the destination.


If you are an international traveller entering the USA at either Rogue Valley or Portland, you will need to pass through border security upon arrival. For this to all go smoothly, make sure you have the required paperwork in order. Some travellers will need to get an ESTA before they travel so that they can enter the country. 


People who have never travelled to the USA before may be asking, ‘what is an esta visa’? An ESTA is a pre-screening check that assesses your eligibility to enter the USA. It is done entirely online and requires you to enter some information and answer some questions. This information will be submitted to border security, who will assess the information and details about your trip.


Always apply for an ESTA well before your planned departure date. In the case of an ESTA, you will want to do this at least a few weeks before you plan to travel so that you definitely have the paperwork available to you. It is possible to check your esta application status online through the portal.


Once approved, download your ESTA. Keep this paperwork with you so that you can present it as needed. An ESTA is only available to specific nationalities, so make sure you check the requirements that apply to you before you depart for your trip.

Where to Stay Near Crater Lake

If you’re planning a trip to Crater Lake, you’re probably wondering where to stay. There’s certainly no shortage of accommodation options in the area with an array of places available. Whatever your budget, you shouldn’t have a problem finding somewhere to stay. 

Closest City to Crater Lake

There are two cities in the vicinity of Crater Lake. Klamath Falls is the closest at 60 miles away, but Medford isn’t much further at 80 miles away. It is possible to base yourself at either of these cities and then visit Crater Lake as a day trip.

Best Campground Near Crater Lake

It is possible to camp close to Crater Lake, with one campground even offering a site within the national park. Mazama Village Campground and Cabins are the closest to the attraction, located in a forest setting inside Crater Lake National Park. It’s an excellent choice for campers seeking an experience in nature. Alternatively, Lost Creek Campground is a quiet option with excellent facilities and isn’t far away.

Crater Lake Viewpoints

There are several places to get epic views of Crater Lake. If you fancy a walk, take the Cleetwood Cove Trail. It does get steep in some sections but remembers you will receive the reward of exceptional views! Cloudcap Overlook is a popular choice, and for a good reason, while Phantom Ship Overlook offers yet another place to admire the beauty of Crater Lake.

Animals in Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park is home to a whole range of animals. You can expect to see things like elk, coyotes, porcupines, and bears! You also are likely to see a range of bird species, different insects, and some amphibians. The actual lake is home to Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow Trout, while the surrounding streams are also filled with fish and other water species. 

There’s no denying the natural beauty of Crater Lake. It is one of the most notable attractions in the state of Oregon and deserves a place on any USA bucket list. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this impressive national park, definitely make the most of it. 

Post a Comment


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Loved this post! I'm visiting Madrid soon and found some great tips on best trip tips. They could enhance my experience. What are your thoughts?