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Drive around Crater Lake

Honolulu, Hawaii
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Drive around Crater Lake

Good morning travel experts.

Can you tell me what the average drive time around the Crater Lake rim is (going 1 Oct). Trying to decide if I want to make the trip all the way around or just along part of it. We are driving from Roseburg in the am and taking the 138 with probable brief stops along the way for photo ops and aiming to be at Prospect Historic B&B NLT 6 PM. Plan to try to get on the road at daybreak from Roseburg.

Is the drive nice enough I should go all the way around or just see what I can from where I hit the park and then jump off when it's time to head to the hotel.

Also, is there an entrance fee for Diamond and Crater Lake? I have the lifetime pass to National Parks being a disabled Vet but don't want to drag it along if I don't need to.

Thanks in advance.

Newberg, Oregon
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1. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

I believe there is an entrance fee for Crater Lake. Just put your pass in your wallet -- I keep my Golden Age pass in mine all the time. Ready for Haleakala on Maui, the cliff dwellings near Sedona, etc.

As for the drive around the lake, it's possible snow may shut things down by Oct. 1. Doesn't always happen, but often enough that I'd try to go earlier if possible.

Edited: 15 June 2012, 23:06
Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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2. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

http://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

www.tripcheck.com

I've never driven all the way around, so can't be sure how long it would take. I can tell you, however, to be sure to check for road conditions when you go (tripcheck.com) as winter could return as early as October.

There is an entrance fee, so bring your pass.

Oregon
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3. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

I have driven all the way around, at least twice, maybe more. Nice, but West Rim portion is by far the best. If you were staying at Diamond Lake may be worth it for the variety, but you are moving through, so I suggest you go in N entrance then along West Rim with several select stops, to the Village for a few more stops and on to Prospect.

However stop at Rogue Gorge and Natural Bridge near Union creek.

And do check for possible snow, though I would not alter plans, you can still go 138 and on to Union Creek, usually s entrance is open, so you could go in that way. I would guess you would be fine going in N ent

Honolulu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

Thanks all.

Unfortunately our itinerary isn't very flexible. We are coming back from an Alaska Cruise just before that, flying into Portland, driving down to Roseburg, over to Crater Lake on to Canyonville and then back up to Portland and from there back to Oahu. Just a quick jaunt down South.

Oregon
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5. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

I got timed out. I meant to repeat what OJohn said, I always carry my Golden Age Passport. Just this week we were at Running Y, Crater Lake N entrance opened when we were there, so change of plans into Crater Lake and out N entr since we were headed to Bend.

Another place is Yaquina Head LH, managed by BLM. We go to coast often and we can go there with our GA Passport. for the little space it takes, it is worth it to have. My wife however sometimes leaves hers home. she has 6 jillion cards, though she has gotten better.

Edited: 15 June 2012, 23:37
Honolulu, Hawaii
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6. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

I wish I had had the pass when we were on the coast last summer. I didn't know I qualified based on my VA disability. I do now :) and I have one. Once we relocate to the mainland I plan on lots of road trips to National parks either on the Harley or in my spiffy new 54 Vette :) hehehe :)

Honolulu, Hawaii
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7. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

Just found this on oregon.com:

"Visitors to the park enjoy multiple opportunities to explore the caldera and enjoy all the spectacular view points on the 33 mile long rim drive. A peaceful guided boat tour, hiking trails and interpretive programs are offered in the summer and Ranger lead snowshoe walks and many trails for cross-country skiing in the winter."

So it's 33 miles around. That's not bad.

oregon.com/southern_oregon_attractions/crate…

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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8. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

We've driven all the way around and with some shortish stops I seem to recall it took about 2 hours. My memory agrees with phirl's statement that the west side is better as far as views of the lake.

I just looked at about 40 of the photos of CL and I believe the bulk of them were taken from the west side. I don't think you can see the Phantom Ship from the west, but can't remember for certain.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g143020-d1…

Absoutely bring your pass with you ;-)

Honolulu, Hawaii
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9. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

I guess we'll play it by ear. Nice thing about vacations....you don't have to stick to a set schedule...to an extent :).

Pass will be packed!

Oregon
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10. Re: Drive around Crater Lake

Coming in from N Entr, that 33 mile loop means you need to do the 9 mile west Rim twice, and no way would i drop the west rim 9 miles. The 23 miles of east rim can not be driven fast. to get best you need to drive out to a view point or two. You seemed to have limited time.

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