Crater Lake National Park is a stunning landscape centered around the deepest lake in the United States. It is also one of the snowiest areas in the Northwest. The park gets about 45 feet of snow throughout the winter, and the runoff from the surrounding cliffs feed into the shimmering lake. It is not unusual for this area to get snow outside of the winter season. In fact, snowfall has been recorded in each of the 12 months at some point in the park.
Summer and winter are virtually the only two seasons at Crater Lake. The winter season lasts about 9 months of the year in the park's higher elevations. The area ranges from 6,000 to 9,000 feet, which can make for extreme weather conditions. The lake itself never completely freezes because of its depth, caused by a massive volcanic eruption in ancient times. In the winter, this deep caldera lake is a striking blue contrast to the wintry white around it.
In January through March, the average temperature is 35-degrees during the day, dropping to around 19-degrees at night. Snow pack can be anywhere from 3 to 10 feet, and the snow usually doesn't melt until the beginning of July. Rim Drive is closed until summer because it becomes immersed in snow. The only road that remains open in the winter is the southern entrance road on the way up to Rim Village. Crater Lake is open to the public year round.
Between the months of October and June Crater Lake National Park is a veritable winter wonderland... a snow covered wilderness.
Visibility can be low during the winter months and driving can be tricky, but wonderful skiing and snowmobiling opportunities abound inside the park.
Snowfall averages around 530 inches annually within the park, and it is not uncommon to see up to 15 feet of snow on the ground in early spring.
Typically temperatures range between 35°F and 19° F during the winter.