7 fun things to do at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

Explore the Majestic Beauty of Crater Lake National Park 🌲

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon offers a range of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. From scenic drives and hikes to boat tours and camping, there is something for everyone at this breathtaking park.

Key Takeaways:

  • Drive the Rim Drive and enjoy the stunning views from various overlooks.
  • Visit the historic Crater Lake Lodge and experience its cozy atmosphere and beautiful lake views.
  • Take a boat tour to Wizard Island and explore its volcanic cone, hiking, swimming, and picnicking.
  • Hike up Garfield Peak for breathtaking views of Crater Lake.
  • Witness the awe-inspiring sunrise over Crater Lake from the rim or the Discovery Point Trail.

Drive the Rim Drive

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Crater Lake is by driving the Rim Drive. This 33-mile scenic route offers breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings, making it a must-do activity for visitors. Along the way, you’ll come across various viewpoints that provide different perspectives of the lake, each more awe-inspiring than the last.

As you drive along the Rim Drive, be sure to make stops at iconic viewpoints such as Watchman Overlook, Discovery Point, and Cloudcap Overlook. These viewpoints offer panoramic vistas of Crater Lake, allowing you to fully appreciate its deep blue waters and the sheer magnificence of the surrounding volcanic landscape.

At each stop, take a moment to soak in the beauty of the lake, snap some photos, and perhaps even enjoy a picnic amidst nature’s splendor. The Rim Drive offers a truly immersive experience, allowing you to connect with the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park.

So grab your car keys and embark on a journey along the Rim Drive. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, driving the Rim Drive will undoubtedly be a highlight of your visit to Crater Lake National Park.

Key Activities:Location:Hours:
Driving the Rim DriveCrater Lake National ParkOpen 24 hours

Did You Know?

“Crater Lake is known for its remarkable clarity, making it one of the most pristine freshwater lakes in the world.”

In conclusion, driving the Rim Drive is an essential activity for visitors to Crater Lake National Park. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings. So don’t miss out on this incredible experience and be prepared to be awe-struck by the majestic Crater Lake.

Visit the Crater Lake Lodge

For a cozy retreat with breathtaking lake views, be sure to visit the historic Crater Lake Lodge. Nestled on the edge of the caldera, this lodge offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to Crater Lake National Park. Built in 1915, the lodge exudes charm and elegance with its rustic architecture and inviting atmosphere. Step inside and be greeted by the warm glow of the fireplace, where you can relax and take in the stunning panoramic views of the lake.

The Crater Lake Lodge is not only a place to stay but also a destination in itself. Indulge in delicious meals at the onsite restaurant, which features a menu inspired by local ingredients and flavors. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along the rim of the caldera, soaking up the serene beauty of the lake and surrounding landscape. For those seeking adventure, the lodge offers guided hikes and boat tours, providing a unique perspective of Crater Lake and its natural wonders.

Immerse Yourself in Nature’s Splendor

While staying at the Crater Lake Lodge, you’ll have convenient access to a wide array of outdoor activities. From hiking trails that wind through old-growth forests to scenic boat tours that unveil hidden gems, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Marvel at the vibrant wildflowers that blanket the meadows during the summer months or witness the magical transformation of the landscape during the winter, when the park is covered in a blanket of snow.

ActivityDurationLevel of Difficulty
HikingVariesEasy to Moderate
Boat Tours2-3 hoursEasy
Wildlife ViewingVariesEasy

Whether you prefer to explore the park at your own pace or join a guided tour, the Crater Lake Lodge provides the perfect basecamp for all your adventures. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and create lasting memories at one of Oregon’s most iconic destinations.

Ride a Boat to Wizard Island

Embark on a boat tour to Wizard Island and explore this unique volcanic cone within Crater Lake National Park. Wizard Island is a stunning natural wonder that offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The boat tours at Crater Lake provide an opportunity to experience the beauty of the lake up close, as well as explore the fascinating island.

Once you arrive at Wizard Island, you’ll have the chance to hike, swim, and have a memorable picnic surrounded by the enchanting landscape. The island offers several hiking trails, including a challenging hike to the summit for panoramic views of Crater Lake. Along the way, you’ll witness the volcanic formations and diverse plant life that make Wizard Island a truly unique destination.

Hiking on Wizard Island

If you’re an avid hiker, Wizard Island offers several trails to explore. The Summit Trail is a moderate to strenuous hike that takes you to the island’s highest point, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The Fumarole Bay Trail is an easier option that takes you to a secluded beach where you can relax and take in the scenery. And for those looking for a shorter hike, the Wizard Wall Trail provides an opportunity to explore the island’s volcanic cliffs.

Embarking on a boat tour to Wizard Island is a must-do activity at Crater Lake National Park. It allows you to witness the sheer beauty of the lake and immerse yourself in the unique landscape and geological wonders that define this iconic destination. Whether you choose to hike, swim, or simply soak in the natural surroundings, a visit to Wizard Island is sure to be a highlight of your Crater Lake experience.

Things to Do at Wizard IslandDetails
HikingExplore the various hiking trails on the island, including the challenging Summit Trail and the scenic Fumarole Bay Trail.
SwimmingTake a refreshing dip in Crater Lake and enjoy the crystal-clear waters surrounding Wizard Island.
PicnickingBring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing meal on the island, surrounded by the natural beauty of Crater Lake.

Hike up Garfield Peak

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on the Garfield Peak trail for breathtaking panoramic views of Crater Lake. This 3.6-mile roundtrip hike is a must-do for nature enthusiasts and offers a challenging yet rewarding experience.

As you make your way up the trail, you’ll be surrounded by towering pines and vibrant wildflowers, creating a picturesque backdrop. The trail gradually ascends, providing occasional glimpses of the awe-inspiring beauty that awaits at the peak.

Reaching the summit of Garfield Peak, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable sight. From this vantage point, you can admire the deep blue waters of Crater Lake, surrounded by the sheer cliffs of the caldera. Take a moment to soak in the tranquility and snap some photos of the breathtaking landscape.

Remember to come prepared with sturdy footwear, water, and snacks. The trail can be steep and rocky in some sections, so caution is advised. Additionally, be aware of your surroundings and stay on the designated trail to preserve the natural beauty of the park.

Tips for Hiking Garfield Peak:

  • Start your hike early in the day to avoid crowds and catch the morning light on the lake.
  • Check the weather conditions before heading out, as the trail can be slippery and dangerous in inclement weather.
  • Bring layers of clothing, as the temperature at the summit can be cooler than at the trailhead.
  • Take breaks and pace yourself to fully enjoy the journey and the breathtaking views.
Hike DetailsGarfield Peak
Trail Length3.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain1,000 feet
Difficulty LevelModerate to strenuous
Trailhead LocationRim Village

So, lace up your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park. The Garfield Peak hike is a memorable adventure that will leave you in awe of the breathtaking beauty of Crater Lake.

Watch the Sunrise Over Crater Lake

Experience a magical sunrise over the crystal-clear waters of Crater Lake from one of the park’s stunning viewpoints. The natural beauty of Crater Lake is magnified as the sun gently rises, casting vibrant colors across the sky and reflecting off the pristine lake surface. It is a breathtaking sight that will leave you in awe.

The best spots to witness this awe-inspiring event are along the rim of Crater Lake or by taking the Discovery Point Trail. As the sun slowly emerges from the horizon, the colors change from soft pinks and purples to brilliant oranges and yellows, creating a picturesque backdrop to the surrounding mountains and forests.

To make the most of your sunrise experience, it is advisable to arrive early and find a comfortable spot. The tranquil setting of Crater Lake in the early morning hours provides a sense of serenity and peace, making it an unforgettable moment.

Benefits of Watching the Sunrise at Crater Lake
1. Witness the beauty of nature unveiling a new day
2. Reflect and find inner peace amidst the serene surroundings
3. Capture stunning photographs of the colorful sky
4. Create lasting memories with loved ones


“Watching the sunrise over Crater Lake was a spiritual experience. The colors were so vibrant, and the tranquility of the moment was truly captivating.” – Visitor testimonial

Watching the sunrise over Crater Lake is an extraordinary experience that should not be missed. It is a moment of pure natural beauty that will leave a lasting impression. Make sure to include this activity in your itinerary when visiting Crater Lake National Park for an unforgettable adventure.

See Plaikni Falls

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Crater Lake National Park by embarking on a hike to the scenic Plaikni Falls. This 2-mile roundtrip hike takes you through lush forests and showcases colorful wildflowers, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventure. The falls themselves are a sight to behold, with cascading water that adds a soothing soundtrack to your journey.

As you hike along the trail, take in the beauty of the surrounding nature. The peaceful atmosphere of the park allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with the natural world. Listen to the sounds of birds singing and leaves rustling in the breeze, and feel the cool mist from the waterfall gently caress your skin.

In addition to the stunning scenery, the Plaikni Falls hike offers a great opportunity to learn about the unique ecosystems found within Crater Lake National Park. Interpretive signs along the trail provide information about the flora and fauna that call this area home, giving you a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders you encounter.

Plaikni Falls Hike Overview:

Trail Type:Out and back
Distance:2 miles
Elevation Gain:200 feet
Trailhead:Plaikni Falls Trailhead

Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and pack essentials such as water, snacks, and sunscreen. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of Plaikni Falls and the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, this trail is a must-visit for anyone exploring Crater Lake National Park.

Camp at Mazama Campground

Unwind amidst the beauty of nature by camping at the picturesque Mazama Campground near Rim Village. This well-maintained campground offers a tranquil setting surrounded by towering trees and breathtaking views of Crater Lake National Park. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, Mazama Campground has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Facilities and Amenities:

At Mazama Campground, you’ll find a range of facilities and amenities to enhance your camping experience. The campground features clean restrooms with flushing toilets and hot showers, ensuring you can freshen up after a day of outdoor adventures. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and a fire pit, perfect for cooking delicious meals and gathering around the campfire under the starry skies of Oregon. There are also drinking water stations conveniently located throughout the campground.

Restrooms with flushing toiletsPicnic tables
Hot showersFire pits
Drinking water stationsStarry skies

Pro tip: Make sure to bring warm clothing and sleeping gear, as temperatures can drop at night even during the summer months.

With its convenient location near Rim Village, Mazama Campground allows easy access to all the attractions and activities within Crater Lake National Park. From your campsite, you can embark on scenic hikes, join ranger-led programs, or simply spend the day exploring the enchanting beauty of the park. And when you return to your campsite, you can relax and unwind amidst the peaceful ambiance of the campground.

Embrace the natural wonders of Crater Lake National Park by camping at Mazama Campground. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere, wake up to the songs of birds, and create lasting memories surrounded by the stunning landscapes of Oregon’s only national park.


Crater Lake National Park in Oregon offers a wealth of exciting activities that are sure to create lasting memories for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re driving along the scenic Rim Drive, exploring the volcanic cone of Wizard Island, or hiking up to breathtaking viewpoints, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this stunning park.

For those seeking relaxation, the historic Crater Lake Lodge provides a cozy atmosphere and awe-inspiring views of the lake. Indulge in a delicious meal or cozy up by the fireplace as you take in the beauty of your surroundings.

Adventure-seekers will delight in the opportunity to hike up Garfield Peak, where panoramic vistas of Crater Lake await. You can also witness the magic of a sunrise over the lake, capturing the colors of the sky as they reflect on the pristine waters.

Don’t miss the chance to see Plaikni Falls, a hidden gem nestled within lush forests and vibrant wildflowers. The two-mile hike to the falls is a journey of tranquility and natural beauty that will leave you in awe.

And for those who want to spend the night immersed in the park’s peaceful ambiance, Mazama Campground offers a convenient and serene camping experience. Fall asleep under the starry skies and wake up ready to embark on another adventure.

Crater Lake National Park is a destination that truly has it all. From scenic drives and boat tours to hiking trails and camping, there is no shortage of fun activities to explore. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to make unforgettable memories in this majestic natural wonderland.


Q: What are some fun things to do at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon?

A: Here are seven fun activities you can enjoy at Crater Lake National Park:

Q: What is the Rim Drive?

A: The Rim Drive is a 33-mile scenic drive around the rim of Crater Lake, offering breathtaking views of the lake and various overlooks to stop and enjoy the scenery.

Q: What can I do at the Crater Lake Lodge?

A: The Crater Lake Lodge offers a cozy atmosphere and stunning views of the lake. You can grab a meal or relax by the fireplace while taking in the beauty of Crater Lake.

Q: What is Wizard Island?

A: Wizard Island is a volcanic cone within Crater Lake. You can take a boat tour to the island and enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, and picnicking.

Q: How can I hike up Garfield Peak?

A: To hike up Garfield Peak, you can embark on a 3.6-mile roundtrip hike that rewards you with breathtaking views of Crater Lake.

Q: Where can I watch the sunrise over Crater Lake?

A: You can find a spot along the rim or take the Discovery Point Trail for a stunning sunrise view over Crater Lake.

Q: What is Plaikni Falls?

A: Plaikni Falls is a beautiful waterfall located within Crater Lake National Park. You can take a 2-mile roundtrip hike to reach the falls and enjoy the surrounding lush forests and colorful wildflowers.

Q: Can I camp at Crater Lake National Park?

A: Yes, you can camp at Mazama Campground, conveniently located near Rim Village. It offers a peaceful atmosphere and the opportunity to enjoy the starry skies.

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