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Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon, around 30 minutes from the small town of Chiloquin and two hours from Eugene. The park’s namesake lake is the deepest in the USA at almost 2,000 feet. Situated in the center of a dormant volcano, Crater Lake is surrounded by rocky cliffs that preserve the water’s purity year after year.
The 12,000-foot volcano that once dominated this open landscape left a couple of souvenirs after it erupted over 7,000 years ago. Wizard Island and The Phantom Ship are just some of the volcanic features of the park that keep visitors coming back year after year.
However, the lake itself is less than ten percent of the whole national park. Established in 1902, the park preserves old-growth forests that guard the wildlife within them. Book an RV in Klamath County and see any of the 15 species of conifers that stretch like the sea throughout the park. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking to Mount Scott, fishing, and RV camping.
Crater Lake National Park offers no shortage of things to do and sights to see. Multiple hiking trails will lead you to the viewpoints of the park, where you can marvel at the surrounding landscape. One of the hiking trails stretches for two and a half miles and ascends almost 9,000 feet in elevation to the summit of Mount Scott. Other observation points are easily accessible by car if you decide to take the Rim Drive, which follows the caldera rim around the lake.
Fishing is also allowed in the lake, which is stocked with an abundance of rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. Unlike most national parks, Crater Lake doesn’t require anglers to have a license, and there’s no limit to how many fish visitors can catch. However, only artificial bait is allowed.
Once you see the vibrant blue waters of Crater Lake, all you’ll be able to think about is taking a swim in it. And you can, because swimming is allowed here. Boat tours will also take you to Wizard Island, where you can stand in awe on top of the cinder cone surrounded by the volcanic crater. It’s important to mention that the lake can be accessed only by foot via Cleetwood Trail. Even the park’s tour boats were delivered here by helicopter.
Kids between the ages of six and twelve can also become Junior Rangers and earn their patch by participating in fun activities organized during the summer.
Just a seven-mile drive south of Rim Village, you’ll find the area for RV camping at Crater Lake National Park. Open from June to September, Mazama Campground is an excellent place to park your RV rental, but Lost Creek Campground is tent-only.
The maximum RV length for each site is 50 feet and 35 feet for trailers. You’ll have access to all the standard amenities, including a fire pit, picnic table, and bear-resistant food locker. Some first-come, first-served sites provide electric hookups. Additional amenities include flush toilets, potable water, dump station, showers, and laundry facilities. A camp store and gas station are available right on-site where RV campers can refuel and purchase snacks and supplies.
A motorhome camping trip is always better when you can bring your furry friend along. Both campgrounds are pet-friendly, so your pup can also enjoy the breathtaking nature of Crater Lake National Park.
Why limit yourself to the park? Venture out a bit further and explore this exciting area. Only 50 miles south of the park, you’ll find Klamath County Museums in Klamath Falls. The main museum houses local artifacts as well as a garden filled with more than 100 native plant species.
Fort Klamath Museum, a 19th-century military post, is also part of the museum collective, along with the Baldwin Hotel Museum. The oldest public building in town, many of the rooms in this former hotel have been preserved with their original furnishings. You can also explore the work of area artists as well as artifacts detailing the importance of the logging industry to the development of the Klamath Falls community.
Looking for an entertaining place where your kids can have fun while learning? Visit the Scienceworks Hands-On Museum in Ashland, approximately 88 miles southwest of the park. This interactive attraction is fun for all ages. Check the exhibit schedule to find out what’s happening during your visit.
Even though the park has its own general store and gas station, a number of restaurants are also located near the park if you’re looking to grab a bite. Within an hour’s drive along OR-62 and US-97, you’ll find a wide variety of cuisines, including Japanese, Thai, Mexican, and Italian.