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Old 09-16-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Crater Lake from the East

We are traveling south on US-97 and would like to see Crater Lake. I don't see how to get into the park with Daisy unless I want to go over a 5,000 ft pass. Is there a way in from the west that's easier? Are there campgrounds off 97 where we could stay and drive in? Any advice is appreciated.

Randy
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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I don't remember any issues with towing my 31 footer. We camped at a nfs cg(Diamond Lake) just below Crater Lake. Go for it.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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I haven't been there personally; but using Google Earth, it looks like on US-97, 10 miles south of Chamult, you can take Oregon 138 west for 15 miles to State Highway 209. Then, turn south on Highway 209, which goes to north entrance of Crater Lake National Park. It appears that from the north, this is the only way into the park.

Highway 209 joins the Rim Road which goes around Crater Lake both ways, the shorter road to the Visitor Center being to turn right, headed to southwest. Turning left looks like it will be twice as far to the Visitor Center.

Google Earth shows a lot of RVs, especially pickups towing fifth-wheels; so I would guess this isn't a difficult road. The "street view" photos look like it is a paved, two-lane highway with wide shoulders, and it doesn't look like there are any steep grades.

MAZAMA NPS CAMPGROUND is about 3 miles south of the Visitor Center near the junction with Highway 62.

Quote below is from NPS Web site:

"Mazama Campground -- Open June through September (weather permitting). Please note: weather can impact the opening and closing dates of the campground. Mazama Campground has approximately 200 forested sites. Running water, flush toilets, bear lockers, picnic tables, and fire rings are provided. Collecting of dead and downed wood is allowed for campfires within fire rings. A range of site sizes are available; tent to RV lengths. A few sites have hook-ups for RVs. Dump station is available. Sites can accommodate up to 8 people and 2 vehicles. Reservations can be made calling 1-888-774-2728 or on-line. Around busy, holiday and vacation weekends, reservations are recommended. Check-in starts at noon. The campground is a 7 mile drive from Rim Village, the closest place to view of Crater Lake."

Link to info on National Park Service Campgrounds:

Campgrounds - Crater Lake National Park

Perhaps others who have been there can confirm these directions or provide better information.

Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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we took 26 over mt hood and then 97 south to crater lake in july. the road to crater lake isn't bad. it's pretty gradual. i towed my airstream with my 1994 suburban there without issue. camped at diamond lake which was beautiful and an easy drive to crater lake. we did however have lots of mosquitos to deal with. but thats oregon for you.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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also lots of wonderful campgrounds in that area. along 97 lapine state park is nice, as are the campgrounds at east lake and paulina lake. newberry national monument is cool. there is a hike that takes you through and obsidean field which is very fun.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the help. I checked the NPS website and sites are available in the park.

Is the summit on OR-138 west of the park entrance? Hard to tell from the map.

Looks like passing south of the NP on US-97 then driving back north on OR-62 might be an easier route just longer. There's also campgrounds at Ft Klamath. Anyone know about that route?

Randy
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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Several years ago when we visited Crater Lake we dropped our AS at a casino on hwy 62 with the casino's permission. Ended up staying the night on the casino parking lot. It was just a short driver to Crator Lake.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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We turned west of US-97 toward Diamond Lake - where we camped our first night. Then we went south into the park -- okay if everybody in the car is cool with being very close to steep drop-offs on the curbside. Northbound from the park to Diamond Lake is more comfortable.

62 south of the park seems like a gentler road all around. We departed the area on 62 headed west -- a straightforward curving downhill to US-5
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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It is very smokey in Bend yesterday as a result from the forest fire from Sisters.

Paulina Lake and Lapine States Park are nice and it is only 1.5 hours from the north entrance. If you want it closer to Crater lake, then Diamond lake resort is very pretty.

Have a safe trip.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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Smile Crater Lake Was Great!

We elected to come in on OR-62 from the south. That turned out to be a very gentle way of getting into the park and the campground. 62 starts on a level 4,000 plateau, and gently climbs (1% or less grade) to 6,000 ft at the park and campground entrance. We were going to stay in the park but instead dropped Daisy at a very nice little campground, Crater Lake Resort in Ft. Klamath, with full services for only $2.00 more than the dry NP Campground.

I would not recommend coming in from the north and driving the rim road south to the campground pulling a trailer. There is a very steep, switchback, decent from the rim to the campground that would be a brake burner.

We had a great day in the park yesterday, driving the rim road, having a picnic lunch, and hiking a few of the short trails.

Thanks everyone for the help,

Randy
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Crater Lake from the East

...and I see now that this thread should have been titled Crater Lake from the East. My mistake, but we have plenty of information now on the various approaches to the park for anyone interested.

Randy
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:55 PM   #12
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Yes, approaching from the north takes some trepidation. We drove in from Diamond Lake from the north. I did okay but another Airstream in our group was quite upset. Going south into the park like this, in places there is minimal shoulder and steep dropoffs right at the white line. Northbound from the park, at least you are up against the hill in the steep parts. My Duramax allows superb manual gearbox control. Sure appreciated that in a moment like this.

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...and I see now that this thread should have been titled Crater Lake from the East.
Done!
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:22 PM   #13
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Crater Lake

Last summer we visited Crater Lake. We we're coming from South Beach on the coast.

We went south on 97 down to just north of Chiloquin and took the cut off over to 62.

We stayed at a really nice family owned RV park called Crater Lake Resort. It is close to the hwy but had nice full hook sites next to a small pond oh and the owner is a dead ringer for President Bush! Like most parts of Oregon the skeeters were fierce.

You're only 30 minutes to the summit.

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