Each year, increasing numbers of cyclists come to Crater Lake National Park to ride around the lake on the physically demanding, 33 mile (53 km) Rim Drive. Steep hills at high elevation may encourage even the most fit riders to pause at many of the road's thirty overlooks and pull-outs. The payoff however is spectacular scenery, viewed at a pace that few visitors choose to take enough time for.
Rules and Safety
Cyclists must respect and obey all rules that apply to automobile traffic, including speed limits and stop signs. Bicycle helmets are highly recommended for all riders and are required for riders under the age of 16. Bicyclists must ride single file, and are prohibited from riding abreast, or side by side. When the Rim Drive is closed to motor vehicles but open to bicycles, riders may ride side by side; however they should be aware of vehicles using the roadway for administrative use.
Riders face many hazards including high speeds on steep downhill sections, rocks, animals, potholes and other road hazards as well as heavy traffic volume. Only cyclists experienced at riding with auto traffic should consider biking at Crater Lake. Cycling the three mile road section between Park Headquarters and Rim Village is discouraged due to limited sight distance, and a narrow, steep, winding road with heavy traffic.
Park roads seldom have shoulders and no bike lanes exist. Cyclists should use extreme caution, particularly along narrow areas and blind curves. Wear bright, highly-visible clothing to help drivers see you.
Cyclists unaccustomed to high altitudes may find that the elevation makes breathing difficult and the trip may take longer than anticipated. Bicycles are not permitted on park trails.
Water is available only at Rim Village, Park Headquarters, and Mazama Village.
Crater Lake has one dirt road where mountain biking is allowed. The Grayback Drive provides eight miles of unpaved and vehicle free roadway. Those seeking the thrill of single track trails will have to look outside the park. Crater Lake does not offer any single track mountain biking trails.
Winter Fat Tire Biking
The activity of fat tire biking is growing in popularity in many winter recreation areas. Current park regulation prohibit the use and operation of fat tire bikes on winter trails within the park.
Cyclists on long tours are welcome to stay at either of the park's two campgrounds. Both charge a fee for camping.
Mazama Campground, located near Highway 62 at Annie Springs entrance, offers 213 campsites with showers, laundry and a camp store nearby. It is generally open from mid-June to early October.
Lost Creek Campground, located three miles off the East Rim Drive, is more isolated. It has 16 campsites for tents only, cold water faucets and toilet facilities. Lost Creek is open from mid-July to mid-September.
Bicycles are not permitted in backcountry camping areas.
Getting Here by Bicycle
All routes into the park have long, steep grades. Because road conditions are unfavorable to cyclists most of the year, and because many roads are closed during the long winter, we recommend you plan trips only for the summer months July, August, and September.
Entrance stations provide maps and information during summer daytime hours. Fees to enter the park are payable at the entrance stations.
Vehicle-Free Days on East Rim Drive
Two Saturdays a year East Rim Drive is closed to vehicle traffic, allowing bicyclists and pedestrians an opportunity to enjoy 24 miles (39 km) of scenic roadway without vehicle noise and traffic. For more information, visit the official website of the “Ride the Rim” event.
Waypoints and Distances
Last updated: March 9, 2020