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Old 03-25-2023, 12:41 PM   #1
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Crater Lake Rim Drive

Weíre working on a trip and would like to add Crater Lake. Right now Iím looking at a drive through, coming in from the south, doing the western part of the Rim drive and leaving via the north entrance. I see that large vehicles arenít recommended on the eastern side. Anyone with experience driving the western side? We have an Interstate 24GT.
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Old 03-25-2023, 04:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GigiFrenchie View Post
Weíre working on a trip and would like to add Crater Lake. Right now Iím looking at a drive through, coming in from the south, doing the western part of the Rim drive and leaving via the north entrance. I see that large vehicles arenít recommended on the eastern side. Anyone with experience driving the western side? We have an Interstate 24GT.
Do they happen to indicate what they consider a large vehicle? A 23 ft F350 towing a 50ft 5th wheel is a large vehicle. Ditto for a 45-50ft class A.

I doubt that a 24 ft Interstate is what they would consider a large vehicle :-)
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Old 03-25-2023, 04:53 PM   #3
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The vehicle restrictions question is interesting. Glacier National Park is quite explicit about maximum length, height and width for vehicles on Going To The Sun Road. The Crater Lake NPS site is pretty cagey, not saying anything about max length, etc., just saying lots of twists and turns, very small pull-offs, low speed limits, lots of bicycle riders, and no shoulders. That lack of clarity in combination with these factors is generally a recipe for disaster, but given they aren't specific, if you're in the mood to give it a shot the law enforcement rangers won't likely give you any grief unless you hit someone or something.
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Old 03-25-2023, 06:46 PM   #4
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We drove our 15 lounge around the entire rim road of crater lake w/o any issues.
Just be aware that there is little to no berm in spots and the drop offs are very steep!

When leaving the north entrance, I’d suggest that you not miss the drive along route 138 that follows the Umpqua river from Roseburg to Diamond lake!

It’s known as the Highway of waterfalls and you can snag a map of the dozen plus falls alone the route from the ranger station at Diamond lake!
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Old 03-25-2023, 06:59 PM   #5
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Crater Lake opens late due to annual snowfall. When we went 4th of July was the first day open. Also, the mosquitos are about the worst Ive seen.
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Old 03-25-2023, 07:13 PM   #6
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Crater Lake opens late due to annual snowfall. When we went 4th of July was the first day open. Also, the mosquitos are about the worst Ive seen.
And, this year has delivered near record snowfall along the pacific coastal mountain ranges, so I expect crater lake roads will open later in the year than normal.
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Old 03-26-2023, 07:58 AM   #7
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I think you'll make it, In my memory, it's just because it's windy and windy, and a few spots are relatively steep. I don't remember anything that would stop me taking in a trailer. I do think a lot of the parking lots aren't too large, but there were large pullouts in various places. I would agree that the opening date will probably be later like last year. We just went Skiing yesterday at Hoodoo, and it's currently at the deepest it's been all year. August is a safer choice to visit, unless the forests are burning and the whole place is covered in smoke.
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Old 03-26-2023, 09:47 AM   #8
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Following will be there in late July
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:06 AM   #9
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I think you'll make it, In my memory, it's just because it's windy and windy, and a few spots are relatively steep. I don't remember anything that would stop me taking in a trailer. I do think a lot of the parking lots aren't too large, but there were large pullouts in various places. I would agree that the opening date will probably be later like last year. We just went Skiing yesterday at Hoodoo, and it's currently at the deepest it's been all year. August is a safer choice to visit, unless the forests are burning and the whole place is covered in smoke.
We have been by the Crater Lake area twice in late summer over the years. Both times, forest fires had visibility down to a few hundred feet so we were unfortunately not able to go to the rim and see the beautiful scenery.

Crater Lake remains on our bucket list.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:18 AM   #10
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International 24 won’t be a problem. It’s not much bigger than my pickup.

However for anyone with a trailer reading:

First time we camped in the park, we entered the North Entrance and towed the rim with a 28 foot Overlander. I will never do it again. It is high consequence towing if something went wrong.
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Old 03-26-2023, 02:41 PM   #11
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I live in OR. I don't know your timeframe to visit -- but IMO, regardless of size, I wouldn't tow anything thru the park. I'm there to relish the surroundings. I've been there in mid-June before and the southern rim road was closed. There's about 279" of snowfall in the park so far, so it'll be some time before the plows get out. See the webcams for current conditions: https://www.nps.gov/crla/learn/photo...ia/webcams.htm. Another site to explore: https://www.craterlakeinstitute.com/...s-at-the-park/
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Old 03-27-2023, 06:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
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International 24 wonít be a problem. Itís not much bigger than my pickup.

However for anyone with a trailer reading:

First time we camped in the park, we entered the North Entrance and towed the rim with a 28 foot Overlander. I will never do it again. It is high consequence towing if something went wrong.
My bad. Interstate 24 wonít be a problem on the rim or anywhere in the park that I have been.
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Old 03-27-2023, 08:24 AM   #13
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Once the rim road opens, you may find that there isn't a lot of room in the pullouts and overlooks to park a truck and trailer. You may find it easier to leave the trailer at a nearby campground and just drive the truck around the rim.


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Old 03-27-2023, 03:18 PM   #14
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We went around with out EXT and had no problem.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:41 AM   #15
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A couple of thoughts on this.

We went last week of June last year. We were able to enter part of the park and make it to the lodge, but it was blowing snow, in the 30's, snow banks of 10+++ feet and visibility of only a couple hundred yards. We never did see the lake : )

Interstate will probably be OK. You could *probably* make it up into the park and around the road with a trailer, but my recommendation would be to leave your trailer at a campsite and explore the park with your TV. Much easier to park at the viewpoints, and much less stressful.

Good luck!
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