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San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

europe
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San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Has anyone driven from San Francisco to Crater Lake, Oregon in Winter and stayed either in the National park or nearby?

Any tips and information greatfully appreciated.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

http://www.prospecthotel.com/

Are you interested in snowshoeing or cross country skiing? If so, the historic Prospect Lodge is probably your best bet. Rangers do lead snowshoe and xciountry outings in winter, but the Crater Lake Lodge itself closes.

You might also want to take a look at Diamond Lake Resort...but because of the heavy winter snow you may not be able to get to Crater Lake from there. Only the south entrance to the lake will be open (and you might need chains to get in at times).

http://www.diamondlake.net/

Back country winter camping is also possible (although the thought makes me shiver).

www.nps.gov/crla/planyourvisit/index.htm

Eugene, Oregon
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2. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Aside from lodging the drive from SF to Crater Lake in winter involves going up the I-5 through the Shasta Lakes area (which can be very icy and problematic at times in the winter) and over Siskiyou Pass, which is on the border between California and Oregon. Throughout the winter, cars are required to carry chains and there are times when you have to put on chains (even on 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles). And there are times when the pass closes up altogether. Since is the primary north-south west coast artery, used by all trucking, you can just imagine the mess.

It's not constant, but it does happen. www.tripcheck.com is a good site for checking on road and weather conditions.

This doesn't mean you CAN'T make this trip in winter....just that you have to be aware of conditions and be prepared with alternate timetables or routing. Or a Plan B on where you should go.

europe
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3. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Thank you very much - we are not skiers or interested in camping - As we have never driven with chains we would need to have someone assist us - so we presume that a service (gas) station would do so - We shall have to re - think this.

Again thank you

Eugene, Oregon
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4. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

I think you might need to re-think Crater Lake in winter.

Many, if not most, car rental companies do not allow chains. There are places where you can rent chains and return them if you don't use them.

When chains are required, they are put on at a designated point on the highway or road where conditions demand. That means putting them on yourself (often in miserable weather conditions) or getting help from roadside assistance (other travelers, volunteers, tow truck operators and others who will help for a fee). There are usually no gas stations in the mountains where and when you would need them.

Weather conditions in Oregon's mountains can change dramatically within hours, or even minutes. Road crews do a great job of keepin I-5 open, so it's often just a matter of delay, not full stoppage. It's a long way to go from SF to Crater Lake just for a look...and, if the weather at the lake is bad, you might not even get that look.

Perhaps, you might consider driving up 101 over the Golden Gate Bridge and up through the magnificent redwoods to the southern Oregon Coast?

Might be wet and rainy, but still beautiful and dependable.

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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5. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Don't even consider this trip. Oregonpoppa has given you excellent, detailed advice. People with no experience driving with chains cannot rely on someone else to help them. There won't be a filling station nearby when you have to put the chains on your car. Winter road conditions in the mountains can be life threatening. People have died in accidents. Others have been stuck in their cars for days. There is nothing wrong with being inexperienced in driving with chains, but you don't want to learn how to do it by driving to Crater Lake in winter.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Hmmm, I agree that if you are not familiar with putting on chains, and not familiar with driving in the ice and snow, then Crater Lake is not for you in the winter.

It gets about 44 'feet' (not inches) of snow every year -- that's about 13+ metres!

It's cold cold cold and remote and yes, can be dangerous in winter if you are not prepared.

Here are some photos of the snow still left right now in June... craterlakelodges.com/press-room-247056252-81…

If you'd like to give us some idea of where you'd like to visit, how much time you have and what you're interested in seeing I'm sure we can help you plan a great trip!

Edited: 3:50 pm, June 02, 2012
europe
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7. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

Mmmmmmmm We are definitely re-thinking - at this point we are considering either the train - coastal starlight or the coast road...... your information has been invaluable, and is very much appreciated.

8. Re: San Francisco to Crater Lake + Accommodation

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