• Part of a roofline shows from one building. Trees with fall color leaves on them fill most of the photo. A lamp-post is near center of the photo.

    Harpers Ferry Center

Waysides Created for Crater Lake National Park

Pullouts, viewpoints, and trails along the 33-mile Rim Drive offer changing views of the extravagant beauty of Crater Lake National Park. Harpers Ferry Center worked closely with park staff to plan, design, and produce over 50 waysides interpreting its geologic features and vistas.

Conveying interesting and unique interpretive themes for over 40 different waysides—each looking at the same lake, but from a different angle—presented significant challenges. To accomplish this successfully, several innovations were developed.

Our traditional wayside grid was modified to accommodate existing (extremely horizontal) frames and stone bases. A fade was applied to the black band at the top of the panels to allow the title and additional content use of the space. The design worked very well across the series to accommodate both natural and cultural stories.

Trailheads called for large-format, computer-generated, oblique-aerial maps. Our existing standards of either draping aerial photography or using “bump” mapping to create landscape texture was inadequate for the size of the maps and subject matter. Working with newly released Natural Scene Designer Pro 6.0, a 3D mapping software application, a new type of 3D-aerial oblique map was utilized. For this application trees were placed on each map based on real tree locations as identified in aerial photographs. The park was delighted with the results. Crater Lake trailheads will serve as a standard for future landscapes that call for 3D-aerial oblique maps.


a screenshot of a wayside design that's titled "From Mountain to Lake" and has a picture of the lake today, as well as an approximate illustration of what the mountain may have looked like before it became a crater

a map titled "Garfield Peak Trail", showing the trail winding its way around one side of Crater Lake

a screenshot of a wayside exhibit design with the title "Measuring the Depths" on it, as well as a photo of men in a boat with oars

a sign at a trailhead that reads "Plaikni Falls Trail"

a wayside titled "Shaped by Snow", with the crater lake visible behind it

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