The most popular months to visit Crater Lake are July, August, and September. That's when the park's roads, trails, and facilties tend to be fully open.
May and June are months of transition in the park, as winter slowly gives way to summer. They can also be months of frustration, as lingering snow prevents us from accessing much of the park.
Is it still worth visiting in May and June? Absolutely! It helps, though, to come prepared with realistic expectations of what you'll be able to see and do. Below are some tips for making the most of your late spring visit.
Visiting in May and June
Weather and SnowpackMay and June can bring sunny skies or severe snowstorms. In May, the average daily high temperature is 50 degrees F. But the average monthly snowfall is 20 inches, and the average snow depth at Park Headquarters is more than 6 feet!
In June, daily highs average 69 degrees F. The park averages only 4 inches of new snow, but the average snow depth at Park Headquarters is still 2 feet.
The National Weather Service provides the most accurate weather forecast for the park. For current weather observations (temperature, wind speed, and snow depth at Park Headquarters), visit the website that hosts our weather station data.
Roads and TrailsIn May and June, you can drive to Rim Village, which overlooks the lake. From there, on a clear day, you can enjoy spectacular lake views. But the road around Crater Lake and the park's North Entrance might be closed due to snow.
Before you visit, learn about seasonal road closures and check our current conditions page to find out which roads are open right now.
The park has more than 90 miles of hiking trails, but in May and June they are typically covered by deep snow. When snow-covered, most trails are either too difficult to follow, or too dangerous.
Things to Do in May and JuneView the Lake
Weather permitting, you can see the entire lake from Rim Village. During periods of rain and snow, however, the lake is usually hidden by clouds. The lake is completely invisible about 20% of the time in May and 10% in June. To find out if the lake is visible right now, view our webcam at Rim Village.
Go for a Snowshoe Walk
One way to explore the park in May and June is on snowshoes. You can rent snowshoes at the Rim Village Gift Shop for $16/pair. Ask at the Visitor Center for recommendations on where to go.
Hike (or Bike) on the Rim Drive
The best place to walk without snowshoes is on the Rim Drive. In May and June, there are usually sections of road that have been plowed but are not yet open to cars. Hikers, bicyclists, and pets on leash are allowed beyond the gates.
Watch the Park Film
Explore the park's violent past—and its present tranquility—in a 22-minute film shown every half hour at the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters.
Tour Crater Lake Lodge
Check out the history exhibits, relax in the Great Hall, and attend a ranger talk at the park's historic hotel. In 2018, the Lodge opens on May 18. Ranger talks are presented daily at 4 pm; check posted schedules for topics.
Become a Junior Ranger
Are you at least 6 years old? Ask for an activity book at the Visitor Center. Complete at least 7 pages to earn a Junior Ranger badge.
Enjoy the Snow
Opportunities to play in the snow abound at Crater Lake in May and June. Build a snowman, make a snow angel, or challenge your traveling companions to a snowball fight.
Services and FacilitiesMany facilities close in the winter due to snow. Here are the scheduled opening dates for 2018. For hours of operation and more information, visit our lodging, camping, restaurant, and visitor center pages.
Crater Lake Lodge - opens May 18
The Cabins at Mazama Village - opens May 25
Mazama Campground - opens June 15 (or possibly as early as June 1, depending on snow conditions)
Lost Creek Campground - opens shortly after the East Rim Drive opens, probably in early July
Rim Village Café - open year-round
Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room - opens May 18
Annie Creek Restaurant - opens May 25
Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters - open year-round
Rim Visitor Center - opens May 25
Last updated: April 29, 2018