Rim Drive is a scenic 33-mile road around Crater Lake in Oregon

Rim Drive is a very scenic drive loop located in Klamath County, in the US state of Oregon, which circumnavigates Crater Lake. It’s one of the highest roads in Oregon.

Rim Drive

Can you drive around the rim of Crater Lake?

Located in Crater Lake National Park, the road is totally paved. It’s a 33-mile (53 km) loop encircling the Crater Lake caldera. At its lowest point, Rim Drive is 6,500 feet (2,000 m) above sea level. The road tops out at 7,877 feet (2,401 m) above sea level, at its highest point on top of Cloudcap.

When was Rim Drive in Oregon built?

Tucked away in the southern part of Oregon, the road was built between 1926 and 1941. The engineering effort to build such a road in difficult topographical conditions is truly impressive.

Is the Rim Road around Crater Lake open?

Check for road conditions and closures when planning your visit. Rim Drive is only open during the summer due to heavy snowfall, typically from July through October. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. As there is a lot of snow in the winter, Rim Drive is often closed until June and not normally cleared until late May or 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.

Is Rim Drive in Oregon challenging?

The iconic and breathtaking Rim Drive has about 50 turnouts. If you're afraid of heights, this can be challenging. The road lacks railing and the hillsides are steep.  The road is narrow, winding, and does not have shoulders. Fallen rocks sometimes obstruct the road. Large recreational vehicles, buses, and vehicles with a tow are permitted but could have difficulty navigating the drive, especially during high visitation.

Is Rim 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 and 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. There are lots of photo opportunities, and many interesting information plaques tell about the area. There are so many viewpoints and lookouts along the rim, and each one has a different view.

How long does it take to drive the rim at Crater Lake?

The speed limit is 35 mph or less, and 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.