Crater Lake

Located on the crest of the Cascade Mountains, Crater Lake National Park receives tremendous amounts of snow. It averages 44ft of snow a year at the Park Headquarters! This comes as both a blessing and a curse. While it means there is usually ample snow for winter endeavors, it also means that much of the park is closed during the winter. In fact, only the South entrance remains open in winter. Park workers maintain the road to the park headquarters during winter months and try their best to keep the road from there to the Rim Village open. However, during and immediately after large storms, the Rim Village is usually closed. It is from these locations that several marked and unmarked cross-country trails exist. With no grooming on the trails, conditions can be varied. Inquire at the Steel Visitor Center for current ski trail conditions. Skiing is prohibited on open roads and parking lots as well as in the caldera. Check out our Resources & Links section for information and maps for these trails. As a note, pets are not allows on the ski trails.


With a depth of 1,943 ft, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. The lake fills a 4.5 to 6 mile wide caldera created in the eruption of Mt. Mazama around 7700 years ago. Snow and rain have filled in much of the caldera creating Crater Lake. The slopes around the lake are covered in old growth forest with several species of plants and animals present. Jagged remnants of Mt. Mazama are present creating dramatic elevation change around the craters rim. It is along this rim and it’s outer slopes where all the skiing occurs.

Skill Level:

Beginner to Advanced

Directions & Map:

Recommended Equipment

Food & Water

For water, 2L-3L per person for a day trip is recommended. As for food, several small snacks throughout the day are recommended. Big meals are fun but bog you down. Small snacks allow for a continual flow of energy to your body. For your snacks, try to balance sugars, fats, proteins, and carbs so your body is continually fueled. This helps reduce crashes in energy during the day.

Additional Info