Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon is known for Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the entire world. At 1,943 feet, the pristine lake invites hikers and backpackers tackling the famed Pacific Crest Trail and RV campers exploring the park to camp in the area during the summer. These campgrounds are only open primarily during warm months because of the severe weather and snow during colder periods. So if you're planning a summer camping trip to the Pacific Northwest, check out these campgrounds.
Pro-tip: Reserving campsites can be tricky sometimes, so it's recommended that you make your reservations three months before your trip. But the reservation processes look different for each campground, so make sure you know what you need to do to reserve your site. We not only suggest campgrounds inside and outside of the park, but also tell you how you can reserve the campsite you'll need for your trip.
Crater Lake has two campgrounds that are open only during the summer. The park also has two lodges that are open a little longer than summer, but there are no overnight accommodations from mid-October to mid-May. Crater Lake Lodge offers a range of hotel rooms with deluxe lake views and ADA options, and the Cabins at Mazama Village offer more homey accommodations with their cabins.
This popular campground is located in an old-growth forest just outside the park's south entrance. It sits an an elevation of 6,000 feet and is also only open from late June to September. With 214 campsites, the campground has 75 RV-only sites, 121 tent-only sites, and another 18 sites with electric hookups. It's first-come first-served starting the opening date (TBD) up until June 30. From July to September, all the sites become reservation only, which you can make online or by calling 866-292-6720.
There are food storage lockers, potable water, flush toilets, and coin-operated showers, as well as a camp store where you can buy ice and firewood. Each site has a fire ring with a grilling grate for wood fires only, and if you bring firewood with you it has to be from the Pacific Northwest states such as Oregon, Washington, and Idaho or labeled as "approved pet free."
Lost Creek Campground
Unfortunately this campground is closed all of 2022, but normally it's open from early July to mid-October depending on the weather. Located just a little southeast of the park off of Pinnacles Road, this small campground only offers tent sites. It has portable toilets and food storage lockers, but there's no potable water and campfires aren't allowed. You'll want to arrive as early as you can to reserve your campsite since there are no advance reservations. Site availability is only known upon your arrival, and campgrounds fill up by mid-afternoon.
Since there are only two campgrounds inside Crater Lake, there are plenty of people who stay at nearby campsites outside of it. Although you'll have to drive to the park, it might be less stressful to figure out your accommodations since most require reservations and there are plenty of sites to choose from. Here are some campgrounds that are less than 30 minutes away.
15 minutes from the North Entrance
There are three campgrounds in Diamond Lake in Umpqua National Forest that are open from early June to early September. All of them have picnic tables, fire rings, grills, potable water, toilets, and showers. The Diamond Lake and Broken Arrow Campgrounds have plenty of tent and RV sites with flush toilets, but Thielsen View Campground is smaller and has vault toilets. If your RV camping, Diamond Lake RV Park has 110 RV sites with full hookups. The park is open from mid-May to mid-October and has showers and laundry.
20 minutes from the South Entrance
Fort Klamath's campgrounds have a smaller amount of sites, and some of them are open all year-round. So if you need camping accommodations during seasons other than summer, this area is a great choice. Crater Lake Resort and Jo's Motel & Campground are open all year round, although their RV and tent sites might be closed during the winter because of the snow. Crater Lake Resort has cabins, a store, and laundry, but Jo's Motel & Campground has both hotel rooms, a cabin, an organic grocery store, and a deli. Jackson F. Kimball State Park has 12 campsites that are first-come first-served, and it's open from mid April to early December.
25 minutes to the South Entrance
On the west side of Crater Lake, Union Creek has a variety of campgrounds with plenty of sites for RV and tent camping. Most of the campsites at Farewell Bend and Union Creek Campgrounds require reservations, but some are first-come first-served. Both have potable water, but Farewell Bend has flush toilets while Union Creek has vault toilets. They're both normally open from mid-May to early October, but for 2022, Farewell Bend is closed in May, June, and July. Huckleberry Mountain Campground is for tent camping only and first-come first-served. It's open from mid-May through September.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 8, 2021.
Lauren Pineda is based in Austin, Texas, and found her love for writing in local music journalism. She now enjoys writing about all the hilarious mishaps and adventures that happen when traveling somewhere for the first time and prides herself on being a budding traveler with an ambitious drive to learn more about the places she visits. Instagram: @lt.jpeg
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