How to Survive and Enjoy Crater Lake National Park


Crater Lake is the deepest and bluest lake in the U.S., formed by a volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago. It’s a breathtaking sight, but also a harsh environment.

Crater Lake National Park is remote and has limited services. Make reservations for lodging or camping, buy a park pass online, and check road and weather conditions.

Plan Ahead

Tip #1

The park gets busy from mid-June to mid-September. To avoid long lines and crowded parking, arrive before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

Avoid the Crowd

Tip #2

Don’t just stick to the rim of the lake. Explore the trails that lead to other scenic spots, such as Annie Creek Canyon, Crater Peak, Lightning Spring, and Union Peak.

Get Off the Beaten Path

Tip #3

Crater Lake NP's high altitude means cold nights, even in summer. Pack layers, hats, gloves, and sunscreen for your visit.

Bring Layers

Tip #4

The high altitude and dry air can cause dehydration and altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and take it easy on your first day.

Stay Hydrated

Tip #5

Crater Lake National Park is home to many animals, such as bears, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds.

Respect the Wildlife

Tip #6

Next: 6 Breathtaking Hikes in Crater Lake National Park

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