National Parks Week in April isn’t the only time to go out and explore new places or even visit that old favorite spot in nature. Throughout the year, Oregon`s national parks offer fun activities and opportunities that are often over looked.
“I got to go to Crater Lake for National Park week; it was free entry and was a beautiful hike. I think everyone should get out and enjoy our National Parks whenever they get the chance,” Madalyn Pickett, a UCC dual enrollment student, said.
Crater Lake is one favorite spot all year with more to do than meets the eye.
Facts about Crater Lake:
Hours: It is open daily (except Dec. 25) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from mid-April to early November and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the rest of the year.
Cost: Cars are $10 from Nov. 1 until May 12 and $25 from May 13 to Oct. 31. The $10 admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15-passenger capacity or less) and all occupants. Good for 7 days.
Weather: Expect an average of six feet of snow at park headquarters with average snowfall still at 20 inches and average May high temperature of 50 degrees.
Spring & Summer
Snowshoeing: Yes, you can still rent snowshoes at the Rim Village Gift Shop for $16/pair. Ask at the Visitor Center for recommendations on where to go in the spring snow pack.
Camping: Mazama Campground opens June 15 (or possibly as early as June 1, depending on snow) and Lost Creek Campground opens shortly after the East Rim Drive opens, probably in early July. However, the Crater Lake Lodge opens May 18 and the cabins at Mazama Village open May 25 for people who don’t like to sleep in a tent.
Children’s and Family Friendly Programs: The park film explores the park’s past—and its present tranquility—in a 22-minute film shown every half hour at the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters. The Sinnott Memorial Overlook, open from late June through October, is located behind the Rim Visitor Center and has an indoor exhibit room with exhibits on the park’s geology and lake research.
Wildlife Viewing: For a list of wildlife available to see at the park, myodfw.com has photos of Oregon’s amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and marine life, how to locate them and how to connect with other wildlife enthusiasts.
Other fun stuff to do at Crater Lake: Other activities are available and include biking, birdwatching, boating, canoing, kayaking, fishing, geocaching, hiking, off-roading and daily park tours.
Crater Lake Forest Facts: Crater Lake itself occupies less than 10 percent of the park. Beyond the lake, old-growth forests blanket the landscape. Established in 1902, the park protects 15 species of conifers from towering ponderosa pines to ancient white bark pines. These trees shelter a wide array of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, elk and spotted owls.