Auto travel in Crater Lake Park breaks records: Figures issued by U. S. Officials show great increase of visitors
October 26, 1924
Complete data just compiled at headquarters in Crater Lake National Park shows that travel again shattered all previous records. Up to the evening of September 30 64,312 visitors entered the gates, as against 52,017 for the preceding year, an increase of over 23 1/2 percent. Every state in the Union was represented with the lone exception of Georgia. Foreign countries were represented by visitors from Mexico, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Holland, New Zealand, Austria and Australia; also the territories of Hawaii and the Philippines.
One of the notable features of the season was the great influx of Californians, comprising 21,219 of first entry travel. Oregon led California by the slight margin of 8825. In total travel, including visitors who returned to the park one or more times. Oregon naturally shows a greater lead over California, in the proportion of 35,515 to 22,379.
The west entrance led in popularity, registering a total of 35,593, an increase of over 14 per cent. The south entrance followed with 22,860, an increase of over 40 per cent. Because of the poor approach roads south out of Bend, the east entrance travel was distributed between the night checking station at Anna Spring and travel from Diamond Lake. Increase in travel to and from Diamond Lake was so great that it is expected that a ranger station will be erected on that road before the opening of the 1925 season.
Analysis of travel figures show that 2973 visitors came from east of the Rocky Mountains. The state of Washington was represented by 2799 to Crater Lake, as opposed to 7625 Oregonians who visited Washington’s masterpiece, Mount Rainier. Over 99 per cent of Crater Lake visitors came in their own automobiles, the balance by stage. A large majority brought camping equipment, taking advantage of the numerous and large camp grounds.
Crater Lake’s percentage of increase is especially pleasing this year because many Western recreational grounds suffered declines this year. Its popularity becomes more impressive when it is realized that the lake is located near no large centers of population and its attendance is not thus swelled by thousands of week-enders from the cities.
The season ended officially on September 30. The park is rapidly taking on its winter aspect, as snow flurries are occurring frequently. The road was still open on October 15 and a few courageous campers were still coming in. The park officials are not encouraging such trips, as late comers hardly can expect to be comfortable and may encounter the hazards of early winter in the high country.