CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. - (Update: Adding campsites emergency closure)
The entire 33-mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake is now open for the season, as are all facilities and services, with the exception of the 16-site Lost Creek Campground, which remains closed at this time, national park officials said Thursday.
It is also anticipated that Lost Creek will open for dry camping (no water, no campfires) sometime next week.
Officials said visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Crater Lake from many vista points along this scenic drive and escape the heat of lower elevations. Wildflowers are beginning to emerge as the snow continues to melt.
Most hiking trails in the park are now open, but many still have small patches of snow. The Watchman Peak Trail remains snow-covered and will require more melting, and perhaps some shoveling, before it opens for the season.
Come to the park to enjoy a boat tour, trolley ride or other ranger-led programs, park officials said. For more information on trail conditions and park interpretive programs,call 541-594-3100.
Meanwhile, Dutton Creek and Red Cone campsites, located along the Pacific Crest Trail in Crater Lake National Park, have been closed to public use by the park superintendent due to a significant number of hazardous trees that threaten those areas.
Beetle damage and the wildland fire events of the past few years have resulted in many burned trees that, while still standing, are unstable or dead in and around the Dutton Creek and Red Cone campsites. These "standing dead" trees pose a significant danger to the public and can fall without warning, possibly resulting in serious injury or death of anyone in their path. This closure is made under 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1).
Like much of the west, Crater Lake National Park has had several large fires that have resulted in areas of burned forest. Park staff recommend that visitors avoid these burned areas because of the risk posed by standing dead trees. Dead or damaged trees can fall at any time and without warning.