Rim Drive is a very scenic 33-mile (53 km) drive loop located in Crater Lake National Park, in Klamath County, southern Oregon (USA), which circumnavigates the Crater Lake. There are tight curves and no shoulders.
Can you drive up to Crater Lake?
This paved road was built between 1926 and 1941. The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. At its lowest point, Rim Drive is 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above the sea level. The road reaches 7,877 feet (2,401m) at its highest point on top of Cloudcap. The road is narrow, winding, and does not have shoulders. Fallen rocks sometimes obstruct the road.
Is Rim Drive open?
Check for road conditions and closures when planning your visit. Rim Drive is only open during the summer due to the heavy snowfall, typically from July through October. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. As there is a lot of snow in the winter, a lot of Rim Drive is closed until June. It's not normally cleared until late May early June. In most places, the road is covered by more than 20 feet (6.1 m) of snow with drifts as deep as 60 feet (18 m) in some areas. Large recreational vehicles, buses, and vehicles with a tow, are permitted but could have difficulty navigating the drive especially during high visitation.
Is Rime Drive scenic?
The journey offers superb views. It’s definitely worth it. Crater Lake is simply gorgeous and driving around the lake is worth doing. A drive not to be missed! Take your time as you make the drive around Crater Lake stop at various points to enjoy the glorious views and take photos of the beautiful landscape. Well worth the miles to go around the crater. Lots of photo opportunities. Many interesting information plaques to tell about the area. There are so many view points and lookouts along the rim and each one has a different view. The iconic and breathtaking Rim Drive has about 50 turnouts. If you're afraid of heights, thus is a challenge. The road lacks railing and the hillsides are steep. The engineering effort to build such a road in difficult topographical conditions is truly impressive.
How long does it take to drive the Rim Drive?
Speed limit is 35mph or less. The road is often shared with bicyclists. Allow 1.30h without stops. The drive offers lake views, panoramic vistas, forests and meadows. Crater Lake is not only phenomenally beautiful; it's also said to be the deepest lake in the country. The road loops around the caldera and has 8 main viewpoints and 15 turnout vista points, each offering more stunning views than the last.