Crater Lake, OR: Finally!

Center map

It’s beautiful: I knew it would be.

They say the third time’s the charm. Here’s the thing: I was here last fall and tried twice to reach the Crater (it’s the maul of a dormant volcano, not a meteor crater).

Snow, some two feet of it, had earlier stood in my way. But, no snow this time; and the forest is lush and green with clear, running water and temperatures at night hovering in the high 40’s range.

I stayed for four days at the official campgrounds for Crater Lake, a National Park. My Lifetime Senior Pass for National Parks got me in for free—and the campsite was half price (@$11/night). They even had showers available: so, I’m heading back there next week (showers are SO much nicer than half a dozen baby wipes!).

Since I did not make a reservation some three weeks in advance, I had to use the “first-come, first-served” sign up method, which means I could not ask for a campsite for more than one night at a time!

On the fifth day, I walked up to the reservation window (kiosk) and asked my “regular guy” for one more “blue pass” night.

He said “no.”

No!? Yup, the entire grounds were packed full …and so, I moseyed up the road to the Rouge River National Forest.

Now, I may have mentioned this before but, I like National Forests better than National Parks. The Forests are a bit less “organized” and less restrictive than the Parks in where you can overnight. Forest campgrounds are cheaper too, although they seldom have shower facilities. Also, less people go to National Forests, even though I don’t know why.

There are some pretty nice areas with gorgeous scenery that are National Forest sites. Yes, the roads wont be as advanced (dirt, maybe gravel), but there will also be a bit more wildlife just walkin’ around.

And oh, I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t been eating my required allotment of ice cream! So, from now on, I’m going to make a point of stopping at every pink building in every small town innocuously branded “Phil’s Frosty” or something similar.

Happy trails my friend!