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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1972   1973   1974 >>


Seven environmental groups make a “cause celebre” of the Lodge’s $350,000 employee dorm on the Rim. F.O.E., The Sierra Club and Wilderness Society all feel that the dorm should be built at Denton Park, the Lodge Company’s private resort, one mile outside the south Park boundary. The dorm is eventually constructed, but as a compromise the Park drops for motel units located on the rim and at Park Headquarters.

Construction begins on widening of 2.4 miles of the West Entrance road from the Pacific Crest Trail to White Horse Creek. The cost is estimated at $716,000.

Roger Theison, seasonal ranger, establishes a new Cleetwood Assent record by walking up the trail in 16.5 minutes with a walking cast on his left foot, following a day of skin diving in the Lake.

July 8

The first major car clout of the season in Mazama Campground. Twelve cars are opened with the total loss estimated at $3,800. Cameras were the favorite targets.

July 12

1200 acres of sage brush and Juniper Trees burn at Lava Beds National Monument. 400 fire fighters battle the blazes. Many trees were lost in the headquarters area, but the buildings were saved along with the campground. The monument is closed for three days.

August 1

All user fees in Federal Campgrounds are abandoned because of Congressional error. The daily $2.00 entrance fee is changed to a flat 14-day entrance permit.

August 18

Giant rock slide defaces the surface of Llao Rock. Approximately 100 cubic yards of rock fall into the Lake around noon.

August 19

Lodge trail tractor, loaded with 350 pounds of scuba diving equipment and two Lodge employees, loses it brakes, and rolls 50 feet into the caldera. Two members of the boat crew receive leg injuries.

August 26

Third Mazama Campground car clout. Thieves net $1200 in cash, travelers checks and cameras.


The NPS reprimands the Lodge Company when they discover plastic marijuana plants being sold in the Cafeteria. Several of the fake plants had been “planted” around the Park in public areas.


Richard Sims appointed Crater Lake’s 19th Superintendent, transferring in from Oregon Caves National Monument.


A record month’s snow fall is recorded at 154.4 inches. The previous snowfall record for November had been set in 1934 with 128 inches falling during the month.

A new precipitation record for the month is also established at 24.15 inches.

November 30

Friday: 5 p.m.- A record breaking snowfall and a fuel shortage combines to force the winter closure of the West Entrance road from Union Creek to Annie Spring. This will be the first such road closure since World War II. The seven mile closure saves 7,000 to 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel.


Following the closure of the West Road a motor home becomes stuck in a snow bank for two days. Rescue was made because of being able to make a CB radio contact with a radio operator in Roseburg who then phoned the Park.

December 7

Plans for motel unites to be constructed at Rim Village or in Munson Valley are dropped after conservation groups oppose the construction of the employee dorm. This is done to stop what Senator Packwood calls, “the desecration of Crater Lake National Park by unnecessary buildings.” A revised master plan for Rim Village is ordered by the Assistant Secretary, N. Reed.

Season Visitation: 539,708

<< 1972   1973   1974 >>





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