Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park
5
About
Beautiful lake which is the centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Crater Lake National Park and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • MelvinPusfinger
    Temecula, California642 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular views of a beautiful lake
    Unless you stay in the national park, you may be traveling more than an hour to get to this national park. But it is well worth it. The views at and near Rim Village are spectacular. The lake itself and its backdrop are simply stunning. Entrance fee is $30 or you can buy the annual pass to all national parks for $80. Most likely there will be a traffic jam and you may take 30 minutes or more to gain entry into the park. But once again, it is well worth it. Probably best to bring a picnic and your own supplies because the shops and restaurants are quite expensive. Even in late June, there was snow on the ground and some of the rim roads around the lake were closed. Also, bring insect repellent, especially to deal with the annoying mosquitoes.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 26, 2023
  • John S
    Altoona, Pennsylvania273 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Simply beautiful
    We came to the park in late June and the boats were not open year and the rim road was not open to car travel yet. But, we were still about the hike the rim and just enjoy relaxing while taking in the lake. It’s just so peaceful and relaxing here.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Cryptic_Tourist
    Saint Louis, Missouri968 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous Lake
    My husband and I absolutely loved our visit to Crater Lake NPS. We did the Cleetwood Cove Trail so we could go down and touch the water (no way was I jumping in, it was way too cold even in July) and that was probably the busiest section of the park. Our first arrival day we got there about 4:30 PM and the entire park was empty. We did encounter a TON of mosquitos though and they were REALLY bad. We got a lot of bites so please wear layers and bring bug spray. When we went back the following morning it was busier but still not too bad compared to other national parks we’ve been to. I think it helped that we were there during the week and went the day after the 4th of july.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 12, 2023
  • Robert P N
    Los Angeles, California2,254 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Its a check list National Park
    Crater lake national park is very nice. The lake is stunning. So many colors of blue and reflections. They have two different areas with general stores. Bathrooms and parking. There are a few nice drives just follow the maps. And enjoy the views.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Izzy H
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see
    There was no line to get into the park. We paid $30 entrance fee. The views are amazing on all stop. There are a lot of apportunity to take a postcard like photo. The best part was our hike down to Cleetwood Cove Trail. It took 15 min to go down and 20 min to go back up. There are bedrocks to sit on and lots of area to dip in the water. The water was really cold but we are able to take a swim. Be ware of slippery rocks. We saw lot of people slipping and falling. A must see when your in the area.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 20, 2023
  • MarcMis96
    Arab, Alabama198 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Most Beautiful Blue Water
    There are no words to accurately describe the beauty of this lake. The blue color of the water is unlike any blue I have ever seen. Parking at the visitor center can be tricky, but if you get there early, you should be ok. We only had 1 day in the park, so we drove around the rim and stopped at all the view points. Sadly, they were not running the boat tours yet.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 22, 2023
  • monasusie f
    Lake Oswego, Oregon7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Snowy in April
    Visited Crater Lake April 17, 2023. Beautiful but a LOT of snow! Needed to use snowshoes just to climb up from the parking lot near the lodge. Winds were very strong that day. Still a wonderful experience!
    Visited April 2023
    Written July 23, 2023
  • jkweebs
    Omaha, Nebraska648 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    National Park # 30 did not disappoint
    Wow is all I can really say about Crater Lake. From our first view of the lake to the last nothing really compares to this place. We Hiked multiple trails and went to every overlook we could. (unfortunately the East Rim was closed due to redoing the road). But everything about the lake is amazing and I think we took about 200 pictures of the lake and surrounding areas. This is definitely a must do National park and one that will be vastly different than any other one.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 2, 2023
  • Anna L
    Brantford, Canada174 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunningly Beautiful. Not To Be Missed
    This is one of the most beautiful parks we visited on our trip this summer. Just stunning! I have never seen a Lake this color. The blue is just incredible. The park itself is still quite underdeveloped, so other than the cars and people, there isn’t much else in the park other than a gift shop at the entrance. If you’re hungry, there is Beckys diner about 10-20 to minutes outside the park on the way to Forks, near Rogue Gorge. Unfortunately we were left really disappointed due to a large part of the East Rim drive being closed from Sun Notch to Cleetwood - likely for the whole summer. This meant no Pinnacles, Plaikni Falls or Phantom Ship. Hence the 4 star rating. On saying that, we did do some stunning hikes and the drive we were able to do was gorgeous. We went later on our first day, around 2:30pm, and had to wait about 30 min in line to enter the park. Once in, it didn’t feel crowded and we were able to easily park everywhere we wanted to, either to hike or enjoy the views. The following day, we arrived at 6:30am to hike Cleetwood, and the place was almost deserted. We are glad we did this early, because we managed to escape the heat and the crowds. The drive around the rim can be a little disconcerting if you are afraid of heights- be prepared for sheer drops at the side of the winding roads. Note: there is very limited cell service throughout the park. You can get some at the main gates. But that’s about it. So make sure you download any maps you need beforehand. There are no gas stations. Closest one is about an hour out of the north end of the park, or back in Forks. Which brings me to this…. judging by the building that we saw going on, this will not be underdeveloped for much longer. So if you’re keen to visit, I’d encourage you to do so sooner rather than later and enjoy the fact this still hasn’t reached the levels of mass tourism you find at Mt Hood, Mt Ranier, Olympic etc.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 5, 2023
  • vern C
    Mount Vernon, Washington636 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking
    I have wanted to see Crater Lake for some time now and we finally made it. It was well worth the 8-hour drive. The views were absolutely spectacular. It's a bewitching place that reminds me a lot of Santorini, albeit somewhat smaller. Unfortunately, they were doing road repairs on part of the rim drive so we weren't able to go all the way around, but it was still a wonderful drive. The only thing that could have made it nicer was the visitor center. It was one of the worst excuses for a visitor center I have visited in any national park. It wasn't much more than just another gift shop. There were no exhibits and no films and hardly a ranger to be found. What a disappointment.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles3,159 reviews
Excellent
2,749
Very good
314
Average
62
Poor
16
Terrible
18

California_momofsix
Fairfield1,111 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Wow! What a beautiful off the beaten path gem! The drive here is so worth it! We almost didn't take the detour because we were running behind on our roadtrip but I am so glad we made the effort. We arrived right at sunset and the views of the setting sun and rising moon over the lake were magical! Great picture spot. We felt like a million miles away from the ugly reality.
We drove in from the north, coming from Bend and driving to Medford. We didn't make the full circle around the rim since the light was fading. Most of the tourist village there was still closed. The website mentioned an entry fee but when we arrived at the North entrance, the gate was open and there was nobody on duty to take our money, so we just kept driving. (Maybe it was free because of the late hour or due to Covid, not sure)
We were virtually the only people there in a Saturday in July, so we felt very safe. Lots of room for social distancing.
*We did make our trip before the wildfires hit the area and I don't know how much of the beautiful forests between Crater Lake and Medford are now destroyed. On our drive we drove through miles and miles of tall trees and it breaks my heart to think that all that has disappeared.*
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vic C
Victoria, Canada143 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We stopped here on our road trip just to view the lake as people we had encountered gave it rave reviews and called it the “most majestic” and “bluest lake you’ve ever seen”. The lake and surrounding area were indeed beautiful but it was definitely oversold to us, I’ve seen more majestic and bluer lakes before. If it’s along your route it’s worth a look and I’m sure the park offers amazing opportunities for winter activities but if you’re just out site seeing I wouldn’t suggest going out if your way to see it.
Written June 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HeardItBothWays
Easton, PA2,370 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
My husband and I visited Crater Lake National Park as part of a trip down the West Coast. Being a geology enthusiast, I was excited to see this area! We ended up being there on a day with poor weather - fog covered part then all of the lake and there was icy rain, but it was still a magnificent site and a place we plan to return to again. We ended up cutting our hiking to just the Ghost Ship and caught a glimpse of the rock formation before the fog obscured it. It was a cool sight to see! If you're planning to visit, try to stay in the area for a few days so you have a few options if the weather doesn't cooperate some days!

Crater Lake Lodge is situated right on the edge of the lake, which was a great place to stay and eat. We had a delicious lunch there. There was also a souvenir shop nearby which was packed with busses of tourists who ran in for cover from the icy rain, so we didn't get to spend much time there. We have an America the Beautiful Pass so we didn't have to pay any additional admission fee.

We'll definitely be returning to check out the rest of this beautiful park!
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bettyvps
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
Love love love the blue, clear, beautiful lake! We started at the Rim Village and took the Rim Drive west to east (as recommended by others) stopped at most view points, looking at the same lake but still worth the different view you get at the view points. Don’t pass up the Cleetwood Cove Trail that lets hike down to enjoy the water. You can dip your feet into the water, swim or jump into lake. Yes the hike back up seems a little long and you may run out of breath a little bit but some benches are available to take a quick rest. Bring your water bottle and lunch! My family of four (two 39 year olds, one 14 year old and one 8 year old) enjoyed this gem!
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LMicheleS
La Quinta, CA177 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
Been wanting to visit here for years. We were on a roadtrip and I decided to drive through and at least cruise the western rim. In the future, when the Covid is gone, I'd like to stay at the lodge and make a couple days of it.

The views are breathtaking, the blue of the lake is indescribable. Photos just don't do it justice. We were lucky enough to have a perfectly clear day with blue bird skies.

Restrooms were open and clean when we visited (June 2020), the souvenir shop and the cafeteria was a bit crazy with some lines, but most people were social distancing which I appreciated. And yes, we wore masks every time we were around other people and indoors.

I'm not sure how much the admission price is because I have an America the Beautiful National Park pass that covered it. We were planning on using that pass much more this summer, but Covid put a damper on those plans.

Do yourself a favor and visit this park. It's jaw dropping.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FlyBalletGuy
New York City, NY121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Crater Lake is ridiculously beautiful and worth the visit. But like the Grand Canyon, you want to plan ahead to get the most out of the visit and avoid logistical bumps.

Particularly in the summer, in fire season, you could have visibility issues. There was one full day where I couldn't see much of anything beyond 100 yards. If you don't live close by, plan on at least one extra day as insurance against potential bad conditions. Staff recommended early June as usually a sweet spot for warm weather but not yet fire season.

The Lodge sells out months in advance, and yes, you want a lakeview room. It's worth it. I searched the reservations until I found availability and planned the rest of my trip around it.

There are minimal services at the park, they are expensive, and leaving the park is at least a 30 minute drive. Food is very mediocre and overpriced. I filled my gas tank and bought a sandwich for dinner and fruit and drinks at the last big town before the park (La Pine, coming from the north). The Lodge's rooms do not have refrigerators (at least mine did not) so any food you bring in should not spoil - you can get ice though.

Sunrise and sunset are the magic times. Plan to be up early. Again, advice from staff, "If you see it's clear out, get in your car and drive." It may not be later. I ended up taking the rim drive at 6 am - it was magical, and my shower could wait.

If you're just looking for an overview of Crater Lake, budget at least an overnight, preferably two nights to have the best chance of good weather. The rim drive takes 2.5-3 hours if you take your time, but don't do any hiking or long stops.

It is a magical place, and if you plan well, you won't have that tarnished by inconveniences.
Written July 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KMc-NM
C354 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Hike, hike, and hike again. So many trails. We spent just 2 nights, but we accomplished a lot sticking to fairly easy and short trails with great views.
Sunrise came first at Watchman's Overlook (just the overlook, not the hike) and Discovery Point.
Then, after breakfast, we headed counter clockwise from Crater Lake Lodge. Sun Notch was a perfect start with an easy .8 mile loop trail that showed us the lake, the phantom ship, and the rim.
From there, we headed to Pinnacles for another easy .8 trek to see the fascinating volcanic spires. No lake views here, but worth it. Get there early before the tiny parking lot fills up.
Next, Plaikni Falls, a big more challenging (but NOT hard) 2 mile hike to see the stream and falls. Again, worth the effort.
Then came the rim drive with lots of stops. Hard to resist stopping at nearly every overlook.
We did not hike down to the water's edge (swimming in the icy water didn't appeal), but we did stop at Cleetwood Cove where there is a huge parking lot with lots of visitors (and rest rooms). A ranger was warning hikers to take water and be prepared for the strenuous hike down (and back up).
Don't miss Sinnott overlook! It's an easy walk down, but check the hours as it's not open all the time.
It was too smoky to see sunset though we tried from the hotel. The fires in OR and CA blew smoke over Crater Lake while we were there, but mostly in the late afternoon and evenings. Getting up early allowed us to hike and see much of the lake before the smoke arrived around 4pm.
One of the best views is from the hotel's porch. Sit in a rocking chair, relax and enjoy!
Written August 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SuzanneLG
Gresham, OR864 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This was our 4th time here and our grandchildren’s 1st time.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as good as expected and it was overcast, so the lake was les stunning than usual, but was still amazed just walking wound the rim.
We heard a bird then saw it, it’s name was a, “Clark Nutcracker”, ( black and White).
When it started to rain we went over to the Souvenir/cafe. Ship. There was someone standing in front of the door, to make sure you didn’t enter, until someone was exited, which made it easy to social distance inside. How nice to get something hot to drink and look around the shop, ( a hooded sweatshirt for lady’s only cost 39.00, which I though was very reasonable, with an emblem if the lake on the front). When we were ready to leave the rain had stopped!
It was a lovely outing and brought back minorities from my childhood, my children’s childhood, ( and hiking down to take the boat across to the island with our children) as well as with our some of our adult children and now making new memories with our grandchildren.
Written August 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve F
Nunica, MI157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
One of our favorite parks. We arrived mid-morning on a bright sunny day. The color of the lake was stunning. Color gradually changed blue hues as the day progressed and we moved to different viewpoints. The different viewpoints give scenic spots for pictures. Our favorites were wizard Island and the Phantom Ship. Unfortunately at 4 in the afternoon a storm came through and it started to snow in mid-September. The next day the fog was so thick, you could not even tell the lake was there. Felt bad for the people who were only going to be there that day. So weather can be a problem.
Written April 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PandaHouston
Houston, TX6,125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
We tried to visit Crater Lake September 2020 but the wildfires had other ideas. This year we were much more successful. While staying in Bend, we drove 2 hours (one way) on two different days for our visit. We came on July 20 and 23. Had beautiful weather on both days. They do have a webcam on the NPS website where you can see what it looks like in real time.

We started very early on our first day - got there around 6:30 am and drove the 33 mile rim drive clockwise. Went to practically every single look out. It did get hot in the afternoon so getting an early start was important.

We did the Garfield Peak hike in the late afternoon and it was brutal with no shade. On our 2nd visit, we hiked up Watchman Peak but in the early morning. Also, the Plaikni Falls is a nice and easy hike. Sun Notch for views of the Phantom Ship is also very popular. You can easily visit Crater Lake in 1 day if you get an early start.
Written August 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,952
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Crater Lake National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Crater Lake National Park
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars