Fee collection starts Saturday: unpredictable weather opens Crater Lake’s busy season
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
April 24, 2003
By LEE JUILLERAT
It may be late April, but it’s beginning to look more and more like winter at Crater Lake National Park.
Heavy snows have soaked the park in recent weeks. Snow that fell overnight and early today pushed the on-ground total back above 100 inches. And, even though the weather is better for cross country skiing than sightseeing, entrance fees will be collected at the park’s south entrance station beginning Saturday.
The cost for all private, non-commercial passenger vehicles entering the park, including all vehicle occupants, remains $10. The per person rate for people entering on bicycles, motorcycles or on foot is $5. Entrance fees are valid for seven days.
Special passes are also available. Frequent Crater Lake visitors can purchase a park season pass for $20. Golden Eagle Passports, which provide entry to all National Park Service areas, including Lava Beds National Monument locally, are $50 per year. The passports are valid for the holder and his or her family.
Golden Access Passports for handicapped people are free while Golden Age Passports for people age 62 and older have a one-time fee of $10 and are good for the lifetime of the bearer.
Commercial fees are as follows: $25 for a bus or van with a passenger capacity of one to six people, $5 per person; $75 for a bus with a passenger capacity of seven to 15 people; $100 for a bus with a passenger capacity of 16 to 25 people; and $200 for a bus with a passenger capacity of 26 or more.
Chief Ranger David Brennan said entrance fees provide money for improvement projects at Crater Lake.
Projects that have been funded with entrance fees include replacement of the gasoline delivery system at Cleetwood Cove, replacement of park entrance signs, replacement of the Lost Creek Campground comfort station and restoration of the historic Watchman Lookout Tower.
In related park openings, the Crater Lake Lodge is scheduled to reopen May 20 for overnight visits and meals. For reservations and more information call (541) 830-8700.
The Rim Village cafeteria and gift shop, which has remained open through the winter, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those hours will be extended during the summer.
The Rim Visitor Center will open May 29 with hours from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Assistance, information, books and backcountry permits will be available at the center, or at the visitor center at the park headquarters in Munson Valley.
Interpretive programs featuring the area’s geologic and natural history will not begin until June 27.
As recent weather trends have shown, weather is expected to remain unpredictable and changing in the coming weeks and months. After threatening to be one of the lightest snowfall seasons in park history, Crater Lake has received heavy snowfall in the past six weeks.
For current information on weather and road conditions call the park at 594-3100, which is now a toll-free telephone number from the Klamath Falls region.