Most days in November through May, opportunities are abundant for winter recreation or simply playing in the snow at Crater Lake National Park. Join a popular ranger-guided snowshoe walk or ski in solitude along a designated route. Whatever activity you choose, please watch this winter safety video of the hidden dangers that snow may present.Winter Backcountry Camping
Cross Country (Nordic) Skiing
Ranger-Guided Snowshoe Walks
Lake Viewing and Road Closures
The park receives an average of 43 feet (13 meters) of snow per year. It is open year-round, 24 hours a day but the north entrance road and Rim Drive are closed to wheeled vehicles in the winter. The west and south entrances are plowed daily as needed, and are open to automobiles throughout the year.
Ranger Led Snowshoe WalksRanger-guided snowshoe walks become increasingly popular each year. The walks generally last two hours, and cover 1 to 2 miles of moderate-to-strenuous terrain. The ranger determines the route but most walks begin at Rim Village and continue through the sub-alpine forests and meadows along the lake rim.
The park provides snowshoes at no cost or you are welcome to use your own. Previous snowshoeing experience is not necessary but coming prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear is required. All participants must be at least 8 years of age.
Space on each tour is limited, and advance reservations are required. As winter approaches, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100 for information on how to sign up. The visitor center is open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm except on December 25. Organized groups may be able to arrange for a separate tour, if staff is available.
SleddingMany opportunities for sledding can be found throughout the park but there are no designated sled hills or snow play areas. Select a location with a gentle slope that is free of trees and other obstacles. The slope should end with a flat landing for safe and easy stopping. One popular spot is the open meadow south of Crater Lake Lodge. For your safety, sledding, tubing, and tobogganing are prohibited in the caldera and on all roadways within the park where vehicle traffic may occur and in all parking lots.
Winter Safety Please watch the video and read about snow dangers such as cornices, and tree wells.
Downhill Skiing and SnowboardingSnowboarding and downhill skiing are allowed in the park but are absolutely prohibited in the caldera. The park does not have any chairlifts. All downhill skiers and snowboarders must hike up to a destination before riding down a slope. Be familiar with the up and down routes, and potential dangers. Know how to self-rescue. Assisted rescues in avalanche areas, and from places hard to reach may take more than 24 hours.
Avalanche terrain exists in the park but there is no formal avalanche forecasting. If you choose to be in avalanche areas carry probes, snow shovels, and avalanche transceivers. Taking an avalanche course is recommended.
Last updated: March 2, 2019