Crater Lake National Park is a breathtaking testament to the power of nature. First formed nearly 8,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption causing a mountain to crumble in on itself, Crater Lake is now the deepest lake in America. Camping at Crater lake is a once i a lifetime experience

This Southern Oregon park contains multiple natural marvels: The lake is the deepest in the US, and is enveloped by nearly 200,000 acres of stunning primeval, untouched forest. 

You won’t regret a trip to Crater Lake, with its crisp, fresh air and dramatic topographic features. Have a look at some of our top tips for where to camp, as well as what fun things you can do to make the most of your stay.

Crater lake in the winter, covered in snow.

Fun things to do

Science and Learning Center 

It’s easy to be inspired by the natural environment when you’re in the park. If you pay a visit to the nearby Science and Learning Center, you’ll feel directly connected to artists and scientists who have made it their life’s work to document the lake and its surrounding area. 

This excellent center offers free field trips for young, inquiring students, and is open to the public. Get in touch with them to organize a visit, or perhaps to meet the Center’s artist-in-residence and see what they’ve been working on.

Rim Drive

Rim Drive is a 30-mile road that runs along and around Crater Lake. If you’ve got a car with you, this should be on your bucket list. If not, try the annual Ride the Rim event in mid-September, where the road is closed to car and biking and hiking along the road is encouraged. 

Rim Drive is celebrated as one of the most gorgeous drives in the United States. It’s a journey that provides you with multiple viewing points to fold out your chair, relax, and gaze out at the vast expanse of dark blue water where a massive mountain peak once stood.  

Wizard Island 

A submerged volcanic cinder-cone, Wizard Island is a tiny, perfectly formed tip of land in the middle of Crater Lake. You’ll have to book a specially-sanctioned boat trip to visit the island. The Wizard Island Shuttle is your best bet for a fantastic afternoon on this dramatic inner-lake delight. 

View of Crater Lake through thee trees to Wizard Island.

Where to camp 

Mazama Campground

With 214 sites for tents and RVs and costing between $20 and $40 per night, the Mazama Campground provides a serene, shaded base for outdoor activities and trips all over the park. 

There’s a store (with a pay phone), restaurant, and gas station nearby, and pets are allowed. The campsite is only open in the summer. 

Lost Creek Campground

Lost Creek Campground is quite a bit smaller and has considerably fewer facilities than Mazama, with 16 tent sites available and no room for RVs. It’s exceptionally affordable however, at $5 per night, and you can cook for friends and family with your own camping kitchen. 

Strong food lockers and picnic tables are available at each tent spot, and the campsite is open from July through October.

Crater Lake RV Park

This RV Park is a short drive south-west from Crater Lake and has 57 well-equipped van spaces. Wi-Fi is free, fire pits are available, and the restrooms are full-facility. 

Women drinking from a mug beside her tent at a forested campsite.

Final Thoughts 

Crater Lake National Park is a stunning place to visit with friends and family, whether you’re in the mood for rigorous hiking, freshwater swimming, or simply to learn more about the fascinating volcanic environment.