CRATER LAKE, Ore. — For anyone looking for a little holiday adventure, Crater Lake National Park is offering ranger-guided snowshoe walks on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between December 8 and April 28, according to a statement from the National Park Service (NPS).
The walks will also be offered daily between December 15 and January 6, with the exception of Christmas Day.
Snowshoes are provided free of charge for these hikes, and no previous snowshoeing experience is necessary, NPS says. The walk itself costs nothing, apart from the park entrance fee of $15 per car.
All walks start at 1 p.m., last for about two hours, and cover between 1-2 miles of "moderate-to-strenuous terrain." Routes are chosen by the rangers, but most of them begin at Rim Village and "explore the forests and meadows along the rim of the lake."
"Along the way, participants discover how winter affects Crater Lake and the park’s plants and animals. Crater Lake National Park is one of the snowiest inhabited places in America, receiving an average of 43 feet of snow per year. Snowshoeing with a ranger is a fun way to experience this winter wonderland," NPS said.
Because space on the tours are limited, the park requires reservations in advance. For more information and to sign up, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100. The visitor center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on December 25. Scout troops, hiking clubs, and other organized groups may be able to arrange for a separate tour, staff permitting.
Crater Lake National Park itself remains open year-round, 24-hours a day. The park’s north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to cars in the winter, but the west and south entrances are plowed daily and are open to automobiles throughout the year. There is no winter lodging in the park, but the Rim Village Café & Gift Shop is open daily except on December 25.
"Spectacular views of Crater Lake can be enjoyed at Rim Village throughout the winter during periods of clear weather," NPS said.