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Contact: Marsha McCabe, (541)594-3091
CRATER LAKE, OREGON – The park has temporarily closed West Rim Drive between Rim Village and North Junction to facilitate road construction. The six-mile section of road will be closed from Sundays at 9:00 PM through Fridays at 4:00 PM. The road will be open for travel on Friday evenings, all day on Saturdays, and most of the day on Sundays. The road will also be open on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. The temporary weekday closure is estimated to continue until sometime in September.
This is the third year of a three-year road construction project to make major improvements on the heavily traveled West Rim Drive, portions of the East Rim Drive, and Rim Village; and to expand the Cleetwood Trailhead Parking Area. The roads and parking areas in the park are hit hard each year by erosion and winter storms, and periodically need significant repairs.
The park receives large amounts of annual snowfall each year (an average of 523 inches), so the construction season is very short. This makes it difficult to accomplish major projects that require significant periods of time to complete. Closing the road on weekdays will enable the road construction crews to make more progress so the road can be fully open and operation in 2018.
The road closure is also near the Spruce Lake Fire which has been burning in the park since late July. While fire activity has been reduced and the fire is not currently threatening the road, the area is often smoky with limited visibility. With both smoke and ongoing road construction, travel on West Rim Drive is not ideal.
All other roads, facilities and services in the park remain open. The Rim Trail also continues to be open. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the lesser explored area of the park along the scenic East Rim Drive while road work is being completed on West Rim Drive.