Snow closes Crater Lake’s Rim Drive
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
November 13, 2002
By RYAN HARPER
The North Entrance Road and Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park closed for the winter on Tuesday after recent storms finally brought snow and icy road conditions.
The roads close every year when the first significant snow begins to fall, and the closure is an annual early sign the Klamath Basin winter is at hand. The closure usually takes place in late October or early November.
“The snow has arrived a little bit later this year,” said park spokesman Michael Justin.
Despite its tardiness, the recent snowfall was heavy. Justin said there are about 34 inches of snow on the rim, and most of it fell over the past weekend. At park headquarters, the snowpack was measured this morning at 27 inches, compared to the average snow depth of 11 inches for this time of year.
The recent precipitation was felt throughout the Basin. Klamath Falls has received 1.15 inches so far this month, compared to an average of .62 of an inch for the first 12 days of the month.
But the Basin is still more than 2 inches below average for the calendar year, and is more than half an inch behind for the water year, which began Oct. 1.
Rainfall brought area streams back to life, with flows in the Williamson River measured this morning at 592 cubic feet per second, up from 543 last Wednesday.
Justin said that despite the heavy snow and indications of more soon to come, park officials are not predicting a heavy winter just yet.
“You can’t tell yet,” he said. “Our outlook is normal snow.”
The east entrance to the park is usually the first to be closed, and it was shut down last week. The south and west entrances will remain open all winter long.
The road from the park headquarters to the rim parking lot will also remain plowed and accessible to cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and anyone else who wants to see how the lake looks in winter.
“It’s just beautiful,” Justin said.
Winter visitor services are provided at the William Steel Visitor Information Center, which is in Munson Valley adjacent to the park headquarters. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Gift Store and Cafeteria at Rim Village will also be open all winter. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.