I made my first visit to Crater Lake National Park (OR) earlier this year and was greeted with a lot of snow. I thought that another trip on the first day of summer would be a fun idea and quickly discovered that there is still a lot of snow up there with virtually all hiking paths still closed due to snow. Still, that didn’t stop me from taking some beautiful photos:
I also shot a short video of Crater Lake from the viewing area just below the visitors center:
While camping is possible and some camp grounds have been cleared of snow, they are still surrounded by as much as 10 feet of snow making for some cold weather camping. For those looking to visit Crater Lake and want to do a bit of hiking and camping, I would wait until well into July for the snow to melt off. I certainly will be back with the hopes of being able to hike some of the trails on my next visit.
Just a friendly reminder that June 21, the first day of summer, is only two weeks away and is a National Parks fee free day. That means that the entrance fee to the parks, monuments, preserves, recreation areas and other sites within the National Park system will be waived. Fee Free National Parks days are offered throughout the year. In addition to the first day of summer, National Parks will also be fee free on September 24 (Public Lands Day) and from November 11 – 13 (Veterans Day weekend) this year.
The fee free National Parks day on June 21, 2011 is good for free entrance to the parks in the National Parks system, but it doesn’t apply to other fees within the National Parks system such as reservation fees, camping fees, tour fees and concession fees. Most of the National Parks fee free days result in the National Parks being quite busy, but since the first day of summer falls on a Tuesday, it should be a great opportunity to visit a National Park for free with a minimal chance of large crowds. With the kids out for summer vacation, it may be a perfect day trip to plan.