Crater Lake National Park Travel Guide

Crater Lake National Park is a rather concentrated area, with the highlight being the sparkling sapphire-colored Crater Lake at the center of it all. A road runs around the perimeter of the lake, which at 1,932 feet deep is the deepest in the country and seventh deepest in the world. Most visitors explore the park by car, using the famous Rim drive which runs 33 miles (53kms) around the lake. More than 30 overlook points dot the road, which is only open in the summer.

Although it takes only 2 hours to complete the loop on Rim drive, there are numerous hiking trails which branch off from the pavement. It’s also likely that you’ll stop off at some of the view points for a photo or two so consider traveling clockwise around the lake, as all of the views are off the right side of the road.

Crater Lake attractions

Annie Creek Canyon: this nearly two-mile easy walk passes through old-growth pine forests and little clearings covered in wildflowers.

Castle Crest Wildflower Trail: though less than a mile long, this trail covers some of the greatest wildflower displays in the park, especially when they peak in late July.

Cleetwood Cove Trail: the only trail leading down to the water is usually crowded with people trying to get to the boat landing to enjoy a closer look at the lake.

Sinnott Memorial Overlook: evidence that people have been traveling to Crater Lake over the past 150 years can be seen in the old wagon wheel tracks which still faintly cover the ground at the overlook.

Watchman Peak: this short trail leads to an old fire lookout station where you can reach the highest point along the crater’s rim for some stellar views.

Wizard Island: situated in the middle of Crater Lake, this alluring island can be reached by boat and offers some great hiking and unique views of the area.