Bike the Rim Trail
Every year, more and more people visit Crater Lake National Park with the intent of biking the 33-mile Rim Trail around the lake. The trail provides spectacular views from its many scenic overlooks and turnouts, and can present a real challenge even to veteran cyclists due to steep grades and altitude. Anyone who has biked the trail will attest that the journey is worthwhile — for the scenery andthe challenge.
Because of temperatures and seasonal snow cover, the best time to attempt the Rim Trail is during the months of July, August and September. Cyclists are welcome to use either of the park’s campsites, subject to availability. When planning a trip, it’s best to call ahead and be realistic when gauging times between waypoints.
The Rim Trail is also accessible by car. Whether you drive or bike, remember to share the road!
Crater Lake National Park abounds with old-growth forest and fields of wildflowers during summer months. There are many scenic day hikes to choose from that are less than 3 hours in duration. The Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only authorized access to the Crater Lake shoreline. All other hiking inside the caldera is prohibited. Take a boat from the cove to Wizard Island, then climb tow miles to the summit for great 360-degree views, or enjoy swimming and fishing in Fumarole Bay. Since snow can keep trails closed in Crater Lake National Park even into July, it’s important to check conditions before planning a hike.
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
Summertime in Crater Lake is a great time to trek the 33 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail that run through the park. Prior to 1995, PCT backpackers had to leave the trail to access the crater rim. Today, an alternate route gets them right up close, following the edge of the caldera for six miles of beautiful vistas. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays in the wilderness. Prospective hikers should familiarize themselves with the park’s backcountry use regulations. If you can’t commit to a longer trip, several sections of the PCT can be explored as day hikes.
Crater Lake’s backcountry can be explored all-year round, but winter brings special considerations. Since the park gets an average of 44 feet of snow every year, avalanche safety training is an important aspect of winter backcountry use. However, with the appropriate equipment, guidance and education, the snowbound backcountry at Crater Lake can provide unparalleled opportunities for snowshoers and cross-country skiers. The North Entrance Road is groomed during winter months. It remains closed to automobiles, but open to cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.