Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park by Bill45 via Shutterstock.

Crater Lake National Park, located in Oregon, centers around the deepest lake in the U.S.β€”formed by the collapse of Mount Mazama. With its pristine blue water and surrounding cliffs, it’s a mesmerizing sight.

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βœ… Fast Facts

State(s): Oregon
Area: 183,224 acres (741.48 sq km) – 34th largest national park of 63
Highest Elevation: Mount Scott – 8,929 ft (2,721.56 m)
Lowest Elevation: Southwest corner of the park – 3,990 ft (1,216.15 m)
Date Established: May 22, 1902
Annual Visitors: 527,259 visitors in 2022
Nearest Town: Klamath Falls, Oregon

β›° Recommended Day Hikes

Park Tracker considers a “day hike” to be a hike under 10 miles. Below we provide our top five recommendations inside the park, along with AllTrails links to the hikes.

  1. Garfield Peak Trail (3.4 mi, Moderate) – Offers panoramic views of Crater Lake and the surrounding landscape.
  2. Cleetwood Cove Trail (2.2 mi, Moderate) – The only trail to the lake’s shore, allowing for lake access and swimming.
  3. Watchman Peak Trail (1.6 mi, Moderate) – Provides stunning views of Crater Lake and Wizard Island.
  4. Plaikni Falls Trail (2 mi, Easy) – An accessible trail leading to a beautiful waterfall.
  5. Mount Scott Trail (4.4 mi, Difficult) – The highest point in the park, offering extensive views of Crater Lake and beyond.

πŸ§—πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Popular Activities in Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is about more than just hiking. See below for some of the best non-hiking activities to do in Crater Lake National Park.

  1. Scenic drives around Rim Drive
  2. Snowshoeing in winter with ranger-led tours
  3. Swimming in the lake during summer
  4. Photography, especially of Wizard Island
  5. Boating and fishing in the deep blue waters

πŸ›ŽοΈ Where to Stay Near Crater Lake National Park

While there are ample camping and vacation rental options near most US national parks, I personally highly prefer staying at Hilton-branded properties when traveling to national parks. As such, below are the five closest Hilton properties to Crater Lake National Park.

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πŸ” What to Eat Near Crater Lake National Park

After hiking and exploring Crater Lake National Park, odds are high you’re going to be hungry. Here are five of the best restaurant options within and near the park.

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