With snow already piling up deep at Crater Lake National Park, park rangers are ready to lead you on snowshoe hikes into the landscape.
The weekly walks were scheduled to kick off today, November 26, and run every Saturday and Sunday through the end of April. Walks, which begin at 1 p.m., also will be offered on week days from December 26-December 30.
Crater Lake is one of the snowiest inhabited places in America, receiving an average of 44 feet of snow per year. The ranger-led snowshoe walks are a fun way to explore this winter wonderland while learning how plants, animals, and people survive in the deep snow.
The walks last 2 hours and cover approximately 1 mile of moderately strenuous terrain. They wind through forests and meadows along the rim of Crater Lake. Participants should be at least 8 years old, be in reasonably good physical condition, and come prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear.
No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, and there is no cost for the tour. The park does not collect an entrance fee in the winter months.
Space on each tour is limited, and advance reservations are recommended. For more information and to sign up, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100. The visitor center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on December 25. Groups of 15 people or more (such as school groups, outdoor clubs, and church groups) may be able to arrange for a separate tour just for their group. Group walks are available on weekdays as well as weekends.
Crater Lake National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The park’s west and south entrances are plowed daily and are open to automobiles throughout the winter. The Rim Village Café & Gift Shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on November 24 and December 25. Spectacular views of Crater Lake can be obtained from Rim Village when the weather is clear. The park also offers many miles of trails for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.