We visited in August and this was most fortuitous. This is the best summer month to visit when all the viewpoints are at their best. There are 2 approaches to the crater; from the north, open only in the summer, and from the south, year round. The National Park Visitor Center is at the south end. This is where the Trolley departs, circling the rim in a clockwise route, making a 2 hour trip. It is narrated by a National Park Ranger, with several interesting stops to allow for photo opportunities. The trolleys are restored in an elegant manner, and our trolley was in immaculate condition. Cushions are provided for the wooden seats. The elevated seats provide an improved view vantage. The natural gas powered engine allows for a complete al-fresco experience with all windows open and no exhaust fumes. This is better than the boat tour on the lake as it spares you the strenous hike to the boat ramp, and the trolley is covered which provides shelter from the elements. The Rim Road around the crater can be quite treacherous at numerous spots, and if you drive yourself, the driver will miss many wonderful views. This is the best value for an exceptionally enjoyable visit.
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