Development – 02 Development Concept

Draft General Development Plan, July 1977, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

 Development Concept

The majority of the facilities at Crater Lake were developed prior to the 1940s, in an era before the great increase in mobility and leisure time. The only major recent improvement to visitor facilities has been the development of the 198-unit Mazama Campground, which supplemented (and ultimately replaced) the older campground in the Rim Village. Park maintenance and housing facilities have been expanded to meet the increasing needs, but the majority of management and visitor facilities are old and are inefficient to operate and maintain. Winter visitor use is on the increase. The levels of summer use have strained the facilities and caused increasing levels of congestion on the roads and in the Rim Village where most of the visitor facilities are concentrated. These increases in visitor use that are continuing through the winter mandate an increase in permanent personnel to adequately manage and successfully operate a year-round program for visitor use. A one-way travel system on most of the Rim Drive was implemented in recent years in an attempt to relieve some of the congestion and improve circulation. This has been partially successful, but crowded conditions continue at the Rim Village and major overlooks. The present combination of one-way and two-way roads evolved through the planning process. While it does not significantly reduce congestion, it does provide options for the visitor, reducing travel time and mileage for visitors and employees.

The cost of maintaining a year-round operation in Munson Valley, where snow depths reach 16 feet, has risen drastically, and the employee morale drops proportionately in this confining environment. The cost of heating the older buildings and the poorly insulated newer buildings, along with the general problems of snow removal, shoveling roofs, and power failures, all contribute to the costly operation of Munson Valley in its present form as the main headquarters and residential site for the park.


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