Crater Lake Closed, Enter at Own Risk


Despite the shutdown and limitation of visitor services many still visit Crater Lake

It was a beautiful blue sky day at Crater Lake, but it was far from business as usual in the park. The junction of Highway 62 and Munson Valley Road inside Crater Lake National Park resembled more like a parking lot at a snow park than that of an entrance to one of the best parks of the National Parks System.

Dozens of vehicles lined Highway 62 as visitors to Crater Lake NP were not allowed to drive any further into the park. If visitors wanted to see the lake, they had little choice but to park at the barricades and snowshoe, cross-country ski or hike 6-miles climbing 1400 feet to the caldera rim.

No matter what side you are on or what side you blame, it is now eleven days into the US Federal Government shutdown. Fallout from the shutdown is felt in the basin. Especially when it comes to safety and guest services of Crater Lake.

If a visitor were to make their way to the rim the view is about the only thing available to them, all other functions provided by the NPS have been shutdown. Bathrooms, visitor services, permits, educational programs, maintenance of roads all have been shutdown.

The only exception is the Rim Village Cafe & Gift Shop. They are managed by concessionaire, Aramark. However, it is recommended to call 541-594-2255 to verify operation status.

Notice to Visitors

Taped to the a few barricades was a notice from the National Parks Service detailing the services not available in the park due to the “lapse of federal appropriations.”

The notice is below:

Important Notice to Park Visitors

While Crater Lake National Park is accessible to the public during the lapse in federal appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) is unable to fully staff the properties under its management. It is not feasible to close or otherwise prohibit all access to NPS properties. Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter NPS property, as NPS personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response. Any entry onto NPS property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.

The NPS will not operate parks during the shutdown period, and no visitor services or facilities will be provided. The NPS will not issue permits, conduct educational programs, collect trash, operate or provide restrooms, maintain roads or walkways (including plowing and ice melting), or provide visitor information.

Please visit and select “Find a Park” for additional information on access to other parks and sites in this area.

The Rim Village Café & Gift Shop, which is operated by a private company may be open if the road to Rim Village is open. There are restrooms inside the Gift Shop. It is recommended that you call the Concession, Aramark, for operating status at 541-594-2255.

The Nearest restroom facilities outside the park are located at the Annie springs Snow Park, located just east of the park on Highway 62, and in Union Creek, located to the west of the park on Highway 62.