Roads & Lake Viewing
The park is open 24 hours a day. Winter road closures, however, are now in effect. The North Entrance Road, Rim Drive, and Pinnacles Road are closed to automobiles. See the maps below.
Highway 62 is open year-round. You can enter the park through the West Entrance or South Entrance. The 7-mile road from Highway 62 to Rim Village is also open year-round, although the last 3 miles may be closed temporarily (from a few hours to a few weeks at a time) during periods of heavy snow.
Park roads can be snow-packed and icy this time of year. Drive slowly and be alert for plows.
Weather & Visibility
When skies are clear, you can enjoy spectacular views of Crater Lake at Rim Village. When it's raining or snowing, however, the lake is usually hidden by clouds. In December and January, the lake is typically invisible about 50% of the time. The National Weather Service provides the most accurate weather forecast for the park.
Services in the park are limited this time of year. The following facilities are currently open:
The Visitor Center at Park Headquarters is open daily from 10 am-4 pm except on December 25.
A US Post Office in the Visitor Center is open daily from 10 am-2 pm except on Sundays and holidays.
The Backcountry Permits Office at Park Headquarters is open most days from 8 am-4 pm. When it's closed, permits for overnight backpacking are available at the Visitor Center from 10 am-4 pm.
The Rim Village Cafe & Gift Shop is open daily from 10 am-4 pm except on December 25.
The Rim Village Restrooms are open 24 hours.
There are no lodges, campgrounds, or gas stations open in the park this time of year. Visit our publications page to download a list of lodging and camping options outside the park. Camping in pullouts and parking lots is prohibited. Backcountry camping is allowed for snowshoers and cross-country skiers who travel several miles from their car. A free backcountry permit is required for overnight trips.
The park's hiking trails are all buried under snow. Snowshoes or cross-country skis are recommended for exploring beyond the plowed roads. Rental snowshoes are available at the Rim Village Gift Shop for $16/day (when the road to Rim Village is open). Visit our publications page to download a list of ski and snowshoe rental locations outside the park. For information on the park's winter trail system, download our winter/spring visitor guide. For trail recommendations and to ask about current snow conditions, call the park's visitor center at 541-594-3100 or backcountry office at 541-594-3060.
Pets on a leash are allowed in the park, provided they stay within 50 feet of plowed roads and parking lots. They are also allowed on the Pacific Crest Ski Trail, but not on other winter trails, or off-trail. Pets are not allowed in park buildings.
Ranger Programs Ranger-guided snowshoe walks will be offered this winter on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from December 7 through April 26. They will also be offered daily from December 26 through January 5 and from March 20 through March 29. The walks start at 1 pm, last 2 hours, and cover 1 to 2 miles of moderate-to-strenuous terrain. There is no cost for the tour, and snowshoes are provided free of charge. Participants should be at least 8 years old and have warm clothing and water-resistant footwear. Space on each tour is limited. For more information and to sign up, call 541-594-3100.