Amendment – 02 The Rim Village Today

Development Concept Plan, Amendment To The General Management Plan, Crater Lake National Park, Mazama Campground/Rim Village Corridor

 The Rim Village Today

 Most facilities in the Rim Village were developed between 1910 and 1925. However, there was no organization to the village and impacts from vehicles and pedestrians became substantial. In the 1930s attractive stone walls, meandering walkways, and extensive landscaping were introduced to create a pleasant rim promenade from which to view the lake. Increasing visitation led to the expansion of parking areas and the day use building and conversion of the campground to a picnic area. In 1984 there were over 30 structures, many of them beyond economical repair, in the Rim Village. The village has become a complex of isolated structures connected by a network of roads, extensive parking areas, and walkways. On a peak day approximately 1,000 to 1,500 vehicles move through the village between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pedestrians along the rim are constantly bombarded by the sight, sound, and smell of traffic and must cross busy traffic lanes and parking areas to reach lake viewpoints and facilities. The linear parking encourages visitors to shortcut across the fragile meadows, destroying the natural vegetation.

The concessioner operates the 80-room Crater Lake Lodge during the summer. Many rooms in the lodge do not meet current standards and its many deficiencies are well documented. Corrective measures have been taken to minimize safety problems, but total rehabilitation is required to replace obsolete systems and materials. Structural failure caused by excess and eccentric snow loading during the winter remains a possibility unless extensive reinforcement is undertaken. Movement of the structure because of heavy snow loads causes damage that generally requires annual repairs. A nearby dormitory houses concessioner employees and company offices in the winter, and other employees occupy some substandard rooms in the existing lodge.

The concessioner-operated cafeteria building, which contains three food service facilities, general store, and gift shop, is open year-round. In the winter, ski equipment rentals are available, and food service is reduced to a single facility. Concessioner offices are moved from the dormitory to this building during the winter. Initially, the cafeteria building was a small, rustic structure, but it has been expanded over the years (in varying architectural styles) to meet the needs of increasing numbers of visitors. The configuration of the structure traps snow between the wings, causing eccentric loading on the structure and considerable building movement; it protrudes into the main parking area and is devoid of any landscaping. A few picnic tables are on the asphalt parking area between the wings of the structure.

In the Rim Village, NPS facilities are extremely limited. The village lacks a central focal point because of the linear parking strip. The cafeteria building dominates the west end of the village, and the lodge anchors the east end. Small NPS facilities are scattered between these two major structures. A community building, also referred to as the Rim Center, serves as an auditorium during the summer and has served as the ski center during the winter. Although the community building provides a place for interpretive programs, the facilities are minimal and the location is poor. The structure has received considerable snow damage in the winter.