Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive

EASY 27 reviews
#11 of 22 trails in

Crater Lake Rim Scenic Drive is a 50.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Crater Lake, Oregon that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 50.2 miles Elevation Gain: 5,885 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

nature trips

scenic driving


bird watching






This route will take you on a drive around the 33 mile Crater Lake Rim Road stopping at the best viewpoints in Crater Lake National Park along the way. The route starts from the northern entrance to the park. At the entrance gate they give you a brochure on the area. You will definitely want a full day to enjoy all the views.

1 month ago

excellent, go at begin of season or end of season and go early!

1 month ago


9 months ago

Hard to believe, but it's even more breathtaking then you ever imagine it to be.

11 months ago

Beautiful drive with lots lookout points and trails.

scenic driving
11 months ago

Stunning views. But keep an eye on the road as you drive. There are no guard rails to keep you from going over the side. Common sense right? It gets crowded on weekends so bear that in mind as well. For those with little children and with little time, this drive is quite nice.

scenic driving
11 months ago

One of the most stunning natural wonders I've ever seen. I was mesmerized by the deep blue color of the Lake...I've never seen a shade of blue like that before. Unfortunately my time was only limited to a couple hours at Crater Lake..had to catch a flight out of Portland and had to stop and witness this national treasure...just enough time to drive around the rim and hike down at a point to take a very brief dip in the frigid waters. Will return some day for sure

scenic driving
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Great way to see all of Crater Lake. It wasn't crowded so it was an easy drive. Plenty of scenic lookout stops to take great pictures of the lake, Wizard Island and Phantom Ship from various vantage points. There were road constructions on a section of the West Rim, so the surface if the road was rough there, but the rest of the road was fully paved.

off road driving
Friday, July 28, 2017

Not really off road, but it doesn't get much better than this! Go to this place

scenic driving
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

East Rim was close. There was road construction on West Rim and unpaved roads. Otherwise the drive is really fun. There are lots of viewpoints to stop and take pictures.

scenic driving
Monday, November 21, 2016

Such a beautiful piece of nature. I have never seen water this color blue, absolutely breathtaking!

scenic driving
Monday, October 31, 2016

Awesome out of the ways drive you have to really want to do.... only once but I'd like to go back and spend a week hiking.

scenic driving
Monday, August 22, 2016

This was a fun drive and pit stop on my friends and my road trip. The road twists and turns and affords beautiful views of crater lake and the surrounding areas. There is some congestion around cleetwood cove. Overall it made for a fun detour from our road trip south

scenic driving
Tuesday, August 16, 2016


scenic driving
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our activities on the Crater Lake Rim - it’s 33 miles and about 2 hr. drive around lake with no stops – with stops and short hikes allow up to at least a half day– go clockwise - these are not in order... 1. Steele Information Center – has a 18 min video on CL – open 9-5 2. Rim VC – 9:30-4:30 (note there is a 2 hr trolley ride around entire rim drive w/4 stops) 3. Sun Notch Viewpoint - 20 minutes, 0.25 miles one way to views – watch cliffs! Moderate - TH: 4 miles east of Park HQ on the East Rim Dr. View of CL and Phantom Ship 4. Pinnacles Trail - 30 minutes, 1 mile flat hike out to OL and back, Easy - TH: End of Pinnacles Spur Road, 7 miles south of Phantom Ship Overlook/7 miles from Steele Info Ctr, Views of volcanic spires in canyon walls. 5. Garfield Peak - Time: 2-3 hours; 1.7 miles one way, Difficult - TH: Follow sidewalk on lakeside of Crater Lake Lodge going east to start dirt trail, Panoramic epic views of Lake. May be closed due to snow. 6. Watchman Peak Sunset Hike with ranger for sunsets; starts 1 hr before sunset to historic fire lookout, check with VC for times. 1.6 mi. RT, 1 hr - TH at Watchman Overlook, 3.7 mi. north of Rim Village on West Rim Drive. We did this mid-morning. 7. Overlooks: Cloudcap @ 8,000’, Watchman Trail and Overlook (turquoise pools), Pumice Pt. (u-shaped glaciers), Phantom Ship. Other overlooks – Discovery Point (2.2 mi. RT), Pinnacle Overlook. 8. Crater Lake Lodge – Dinner reservations -call 541-594-2255 x3217 9. Cleetwood Cove (the only lake shore access), 1.5 hours, 1.1 miles one way, Strenuous, 11% grade, TH: 4.5 miles east of junction of East Rim Road and North Entrance Road, Lake shore and boat dock. Jump from 18-ft rock ledge into 55 degree lake or just enjoy the hike. Wizard Island hike (will not add much to trip if strapped for time – take boat over 1.75 hrs and hike 2 miles to summit. Boats $19-39, see - The most beautiful country, the bluest water, the most striking night sky anywhere in the world!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This is a must see and experience. I only had a short time to visit, but made the most of it. The rim road makes it easy to see 360 degrees of the Lake. I did get to take the hike down to the lake a took "the Plunge" and jumped in for a couple of minutes. It was chilly, but not as cold as expected.

scenic driving
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cross country skiing
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

scenic driving
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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