Ancestral land of the Molala and Klamath, and now part of the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde
At a Glance
Crater Lake National Park offers a variety of winter sport adventures from the southern entrance and the Rim Village. The 33 mile loop around the lake is considered one of the great ski routes in the US, though skiers and snowshoers should be aware that several avalanche hazards exist on this route. This is the backcountry, and you need to be prepared to navigate and handle emergencies on your own. Know your limits. Shorter trips to Discovery Point and Sun Notch make for good day trips.
Mellow: Snowshoe or ski out to Sun Notch for views of the Phantom Ship.
Balanced: Complete the circumnavigation on skis or snowshoes over three to five days.
Epic: Circumnavigate the lake on skis or snowshoes in one long day. While the FKT on skis is just under 7 hours, it was accomplished with a snowmobile laying down the tracks in advance. Expect to spend 12+ hours at least on the mountain, and be prepared to spend the night in the backcountry as many unforseen complications can happen.
Need to Know
Parking pass required: National Park entrance pass required to enter; sno-park pass for skiing in adjacent national forests.
Overnight camping permit required: Yes. Free permit must be obtained in person from the ranger station between 8 am and 4 pm. (During Covid, permits are self issued and are available 24 hours a day.)
Day permits: None.
Water: Water is limited to what you can melt from snow in the winter. Carry water accordingly.
Nearest Campgrounds: Closed in winter.
Please: Always remember to follow the Leave No Trace principles when recreating on public land. Our actions not only impact the land; they influence others to better care for these lands when we lead by example. Please see additional route cautions at the bottom of this page.
Why You Want To Try It
Winter trail map of Crater Lake. The clockwise direction has slightly less elevation gain (700 feet less).
Winter Recreation Options from NPS
Crater Lake Institute
Oregon Hikers trip report
How to Plan a Crater Lake Snowshoe
Snowshoeing Spectacular: Oregon’s Crater Lake Park in Winter
Trip report from the Mountain Shop
Avalanche handout from NPS
Crater Lake Webcams