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Old 02-02-2016, 07:26 PM   #1
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Crater Lake Area

We are planning a trip from Menifee, CA to Vancouver Island, B. C. for June, with stops in Sacramento, Crater Lake, Portland, and finally at Port Angeles, WA. Anyone have recommendations for things to do at Crater Lake, after seeing the lake? Wondering if just looking at a pix of it isn't enough, considering the extra miles over what appear to be less than optimum highways.

Thanks, Grzly03

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Old 02-02-2016, 07:29 PM   #2
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Hopefully the road around the crater will be open by then!

Looks like they open up mid May so you should be OK.

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Old 02-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #3
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I would not recommend taking the RV up there. Hopefully you have a toad.

Be sure to drive the rim and stop at the many view points. If you a really ambitious and in shape, ride bikes around the rim. It is 35 miles, pretty difficult, but I have done it twice in my younger years.

They used to have a boat tour of the lake. It is a fairly strenuous hike down to the water and back up but doable for most reasonably fit folks. It is worth the effort and cost.

The lodge is definately worth a visit.

We have stayed at Diamond Lake on the northwest corner of the park. It's been a while, so I don't know the current facility offerings but 15 years ago there was a resort plus some camping (National Forest boondocking, I think).
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:11 PM   #4
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Diamond lake is a good place to "camp" with hiking biking around the lake ( diamond) etc and a few businesses and a nice day trip up and around Crater Lake. The area roads for the most part are wide two lanes.
The rest depends on what you want to "do" . There are as you say "pictures" of almost everything. To some that satisfies their sense of adventure.. Why even spend the money traveling?
Crater lake is like the Grand Canyon ( and everything else for that matter) pictures don't do it justice. Go spend some time wandering around hike enjoy lunch in the lodge etc.
sounds like a great trip , June is a good month to see it usually
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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WE stayed at FT Klamath. It's a bit of a drive into the park but a beautiful one. Lots of good fishing in the area. It's worth a couple of days.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Pictures will not do Crater Lake justice. You have to see it in person!

You don't say what kind of RV you have but if you can park the RV and take either your towed vehicle or truck, that's the way to explore. These are two great places to stay and are a short drive to Crater:

Joseph H. Stewart State Rec. Area - coming up I-5 into Oregon, get off on Hwy 62.

Collier Memorial State Park on Oregon Hwy 97 at Chiloquin.

Instead of Port Angeles, WA, we find that Port Townsend is a more pleasant place to stay and it's an easy drive to the ferry out of Port Angeles. Fort Worden State Park is great and the beach sites are lovely. There's also a wooded section.

Have a great trip!
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
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Our favorite place to stay near Crater Lake (but not in the park) in Farewell Bend (USFS) near Union Creek just 9 miles from the park entrance. No reservation - first come. It is on OR 62. Nearby (walking distance) is the Rogue River gorge where the river goes underground and Beckie's café for pie. Large, paved spaces with flush toilet restrooms.

Se the lodge. Drive the rim of Crater Lake - the view changes as you go around the lake. There are some possible side trips as well. Take your dinghy.

Hwy 62 is a good highway. A beautiful loop would be to go up 62, pass over to Diamond Lake and then down 138 back to I-5 at Roseburg. 138 is a beautiful drive with many waterfalls along the Umpqua. It is a little curvy but very doable.

Joseph Stewart State Park is a wonderful state park - as are all Oregon state parks.

Diamond Lake is quite a ways from Crater Lake. Collier State Park has a logging museum and is many miles SE of Crater Lake.

If going through Medford check out Harry and David as well as Rogue Creamery that makes wonderful flavors of blue cheese.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:43 AM   #8
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Collier Memorial State Park on US97 is a nice place for a couple of days. As a side benefit there is a wonderful logging museum on the grounds. North from there, LaPine State Park or Tumalo State Parks are good base for traveling around Bend area.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:43 PM   #9
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Having grown up in Medford, Oregon nothing is very far from any thing else. The hiways are good wide 2 lane for the most part. It is mountainous, and twisty but nothing like Rocky Mountains and Independence Pass... Crater Lake well if you think a picture is good stay home, the crater is 6 miles across rim to rim and very cold. I fell in screwing around as a kid and yes it was cold, still remember, clearly!! It is a very old forest, no fires for many decades, I can speak for 70 of them. The Lodge is spectacular, completely disassembled and restored a few years back.. I remember accessing the original lodge via snow tunnel many yards long as kid. The drive up from Medford up 67 thru Shady Cove, Trail and Union Creek along the Rogue River, special. This corner of the state is pretty dry compared to the rest of the Pacific side, north to Portland. There are many lakes and lots of fishing. One could easily spend two or three weeks. Wonderful place to have grown up.

I agree with one of the other posters here that Port Townsend a much better spot. But oh my, the driving around the Olympic Peninsula and all the side roads, the rain forests. Be sure to allow a minimum of a week there. A day will be spent in Port T for sure. The best part of Port Angles is the Dungeness Crab Festival in early October. Another great place to stay in this area is Crescent Bay RV Park just outside Port Angles. Use the toad to go other places. Canada is just across the Bay from Crescent Bay. It is secluded and right on the water and can accommodate big rigs

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Old 02-03-2016, 02:01 PM   #10
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I assume that the original post mentioned Port Angeles because they are headed to Vancouver Is. Port Townsend is a great detour on the way. Salt Creek park (county) would be a nice park to stay at before boarding the ferry. It's a few mile west of Port Angeles.

Just a note: the Black Ball Line is privately owned while the other ferry options are either Washington State or BC. I don't know the price difference but any of them can handle the 41' RV.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:33 PM   #11
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Crater Lake is a great place to visit. Don't drive the rim, take the trolley, let someone else drive so you can sightsee. Guides give a great deal of the history and point out things you would miss if you're driving.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:58 AM   #12
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Pictures DO NOT DO THE LAKE JUSTICE! You have to stand there and absorb it! Unfortunately, when we were there the perimeter highway was still closed because of snow... but, it was still unbelievable!!
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:13 AM   #13
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We stayed at Collier Menorial State park on our visit to Crater Lake, nice day trip up to lake. Collier is nice park, FHP, nice river behind park, and nice places to walk around. Spent 3 days there, you might want to make resverations depending on when your going.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:29 AM   #14
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There is also Mazama Village just inside the South entrance gate, as well as the others mentioned and many, many, FS campgrounds in the area.

I still remember our first trip to CL from WV in April of '73. We were on an exploratory trip to see if we wanted to live out here. I remember walking out on the snow to get a better look at the lake and in later years thinking about how foolish it was to have walked out on the snow drifts overhanging the lake, if it had broken... I am very thankful that fools and little children are looked out for. It is indeed a beautiful place and to be enjoyed. As others have said there is also much scenic beauty for miles in any direction around the lake.

I would second the idea that if you plan to continue North on I-5 to BC, a loop back to it on hwy 138 to Roseburg is a very scenic way to get there. This Road follows the North Umpqua most of the way back to I-5. Tokatee Falls on that river along hwy 138 is worth visiting if time is available. It requires a short walk from the parking area and the falls are in two series over columner basalt and are beautiful.

Our April '73 trip also took us around the Olympic Peninsula and I would second the comments about the beauty to be found there. We saw our first Roosevelt Elk there in Olympic NP.

And yes, we did move here in later '73 and have never regretted it.

Have a wonderful trip!


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