Skiing and Snowshoeing

Nordic and Cross Country (XC) Skiing

The park features a variety of marked and unmarked routes for cross-country skiing. Choose a route through forests, along West Rim Drive to lake overlooks, or to Vidae Falls along the East Rim Drive. Maps and descriptions of the ski trails are available in the park newspaper. None of the routes are groomed, and they are sometimes deep and difficult to follow. Conditions may range from powder to slush or ice. Skiers may need to break trail. Snowshoers often use the same routes.
  • Skiing is prohibited inside the caldera, along Hwy 62, and in parking lots.
  • Do not ski up or down the road to Rim Village whether it is opened or closed.
  • A permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry during winter and summer. Detailed information available at Winter Backcountry Camping.
Skis are not rented or sold in the park. A list of ski rental locations outside the park is available on the publications page under activities. Snowshoes are available for rent at the Rim Village Gift Shop when the road to Rim Village is open.

The Alerts & Conditions page has current information on road closures, park alerts, and weather.
 

Snowshoeing

Strapping on a pair of snowshoes is a great way to experience the changes that winter brings to Crater Lake National Park. Mounds of snowy waves cover downed trees and saplings, and forest shadows stretch across the sparkling snow. Meadows become white wonderlands. Snowshoe for a short distance or plan a full day along an established trail. First time visitors are advised to follow one of the park’s ski routes. Maps are found in the park newspaper.

  • As a courtesy to skiers, please refrain from walking in ski tracks.
  • Snowshoeing is prohibited inside the caldera, and on all roads and parking lots where vehicles are allowed.

Wearing warm, waterproof clothing and footwear, staying hydrated, and having a plan increases your safety and enjoyment while snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals per day and overnight are available at the Rim Village Gift Shop (unless the road to Rim Village is closed). Current cost and availability are listed the winter park newspaper.

Rangers lead 2-hour snowshoe walks through forests and snow-covered meadows in Rim Village. The walks are generally 1 to 2 miles across moderate-to-strenuous terrain. Snowshoes are provided at no cost. Previous snowshoeing experience is not necessary. All participants must be at least 8 years of age.

 

Circling the Lake in Winter

Each winter, approximately 80 skiers and 40 snowshoers travel all the way around Crater Lake. It’s a trip that can be exceptionally rewarding, with unforgettable views. It can also be physically and mentally demanding—a test of endurance and outdoor skills. A backcountry permit is required for entire tour.

March and April are the most popular months to complete the loop. Spring provides more hours of daylight than the winter months and longer periods of fair weather. When the weather is clear, the 31-mile (50-km) loop takes an average of 3 days to complete. Storms, however, force many parties to turn back or to spend extra nights. The route is unmarked, difficult to follow in places, and crossed by a number of avalanche paths. Those attempting the trip should be experienced in winter camping, backcountry travel, and avalanche safety.

Venturing into the backcountry requires understanding the dangers that could impact your experience. Sudden weather changers, avalanches and road closures could impact their travel plans. Backcountry users are strongly encouraged to plan for these unforeseen impacts as Emergency response could take up to 24 hours or more. More info at Winter Safety

Last updated: February 20, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Crater Lake National Park
PO Box 7

Crater Lake , OR 97604

Phone:

(541) 594-3000

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