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Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

Chicago, IL
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Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

I am putting the finishing touches on our Oregon road trip. In the middle of it we are staying in Ashland, then driving to Bend. Do you think it's possible to stop in Crater Lake for a couple hours on that day? Maybe to have lunch at the lodge and hike around a little bit? Or is it a place that one must really take time and experience for a longer period? Thanks!

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

So long as it's during the summer months, you can easily do Crater Lake as a day trip from Ashland to Bend. You'll just go in the south entrance to the lodge area and out the north entrance (which is USUALLY open by the end of June). If the north entrance isn't open yet, you can still get in to the lodge and out and around, but it will involve a bit more driving.

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

www.tripcheck.com

Keep an eye on these websites for road and weather conditions in the park and throughout Oregon.

Chicago, IL
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2. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

We're going in July so it should work out. Thanks for the info!

Oregon
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3. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

I agree with poppa. you can and should do that. Crater Lake does not need a lot of time to enjoy it. I would not bother with east rim. west rim is better.

I think the full loop is a great drive when you have time. You won't,

Suggest you make the easy stops near Union Creek. Natural Bridge and Rogue Gorge.

Edited: 24 April 2012, 18:29
Baker City
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4. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

Doesn't answer the OP's question but worth a look for those who like Crater Lake:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

Click on the picture for larger size.

Baker City
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5. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

I forgot that the above Crater Lake link will change every day, here is the permanent one: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120425.html

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

Lovely photo in that link, Kuskokwim. Is it real? In this day and age of ultra-photoshopping, sometimes I wonder!

Zenster, here's a ground level link to photos at Crater Lake, updated every 15 minutes:

craterlakelodges.com/press-room-247056252-81…

Chicago, IL
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7. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

Wonderful links! I'll be checking the ground level link and watching the snow melt before our trip. Very cool--thank you!

Newtown, PA
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8. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

We did the exact same driving day last summer and were able to do a lot before retiring in Bend.

We left Medford in the morning, stopped by the Rogue River Gorge for 30-40 minutes on the way to Cater Lake. We spent a good 4 hours in the park, circling the entire lake, lots of photos, short walks, etc.

Once leaving Crater Lake we weren't done. Late afternoon we stopped in Newberry Volcanic Monument outside of Bend and spent some time at the Big Obsidian Flow. It was a very cool spot.

We finally rolled into Bend around 7:30.

Here are links of the pics I took of Rogue River Gorge, Newberry Volcanic Monument and Crater Lake. This will give you an idea of how much we were able to do in one day.

https:/…

https:/…CraterLakeNPJuly282011

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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9. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

You should be to drive the entire rim with plenty of stop time in 2-4 hours.

If you have time after leaving Crater Lake take the Cascade Lakes scenic byway instead of Rt. 97 to Bend. Gorgeous, relaxing drive and you'll want to make plenty of short stops along the way.

The Newberry Crater suggestion is a good one too. The drive up Paulina Peak is worth doing as is the short hike to Paulina Creek falls.

Chicago, IL
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10. Re: Can Crater Lake be a "stop" on the way somewhere?

Thanks for sharing the photos! Looks gorgeous.