“The best way to see Crater Lake”
Rim Drive is a scenic highway in Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon. It is a 33-mile loop that follows the caldera rim around Crater Lake. Because of the its unique engineering and the surrounding park landscape, the drive was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Rim Drive is located high in the Cascade Mountains. At its lowest point, Rim Drive is 6,500 feet above sea level. The road reaches almost 7,900 feet at its highest point on top of Cloudcap. Rim Drive has eight main viewing areas with roadside parking. Four of these observation points (Pumice Point, Skell Head, Cloudcap, and Kerr Notch) are located just off the road. Short trails from parking areas lead to the other four observation points (Sinnott Memorial, Discovery Point, Watchman Lookout, and Merriam Point). In addition to the main viewing areas, there are 15 turnout vista points along the road. Heading northwest from the Crater Lake National Park headquarters in the Munson Valley Historic District, it is three miles to Crater Lake rim and the Rim Village visitor area which is also a historic district. The Sinnott Memorial overlook is located in Rim Village. Leaving Rim Village, the speed limit is reduced to 35 miles per hour. Visitors reach the Discovery Point viewing area in just over one mile. From there, it is five miles to the junction with the North Entrance Road. Between these two way points visitors pass over the 7,350 feet West Rim Summit. The section of Rim Drive between Rim Village and the North Entrance Road is known as West Rim Drive. This part of the road is used heavily during the summer because it is the direct route between the park’s north and south entrances and passes by the Rim Village visitor area and the park headquarters at Munson Valley. It also offers classic views of Crater Lake and Wizard Island along the way.
As there is a lot of snow in the winter, a lot of Rim Drive is closed until June. It's not normally cleared until late May early June (also we were told due to cutbacks to parks staff). I went there on 23 May 2014 and only the part between Rim Village to Discovery Point was open. Check on the national parks website before going. In any event, views from Rim Village are spectacular, as are all views of Crater Lake. The informative film in the visitor centre on the way up the winding road is worth checking out aswell.
A must see. However, we visited in June and only the west side rim drive was open due to snow. Still was a great drive with beautiful views of the lake.
*two year olds* ... We have twin two year olds.
Our 5 year old and two year old enjoyed exploring this area. It's nice that much of it is visible from the car so we didn't have to get out much with little ones. We got out at the lodge and a couple of the more interesting turn outs. Good times!
Traveled the rim during 4th of July week. I have never seen a blue as blue as the waters of this gorgeous lake! We took our time, and the trip around the lake was around 3 hours. You can do it much quicker, but we stopped at every lookout point and took waaaay too many pictures. The lodge was great as well.
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