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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1986   1987   1988 >>

January 17

Seventeen year-old Brian Smith of Jacksonville, Oregon climbs to the top of Union Peak while circumnavigating the mountain on skis. The trip started at 6:50 a.m. and was completed by 2:15 p.m. Brian skied and climbed 18 miles on a clear and cold day. The first recorded solo winter climb of Union Peak by a teenager in seven hours.

January 17

First winter research trip to Wizard Island, via helicopter. Jerry McCrea, Fred Vanhorn, Jim Milestone, Jim Webster and Mark Buktenica.

January 18

Rangers Fred Vanhorn and Jim Webster ski to the top of Wizard Island at midnight. Vanhorn and Webster are part of a five member winter research team, collecting winter lake samples.

January 21

The new William Steel Information Center and Interpretive offices opens in the remodeled, former Ranger Dorm. The old building had fallen into a state of disrepair prior to its restoration.

February 2

Entrance fee into the Park balloons from $2.00 per vehicle to $5.00. The Golden Eagle Passport increases from $10 to $25 a year. Fee increase is limited to one year.

February 4

The NPS Regional office declares that Sleepy Hollow is to be destroyed. No longer suitable for even seasonal housing. Work continues on gutting and rehabilitating the old Headquarters Building.


The 1950’s A-frame snow tunnel is removed from the front of the Administration building. A new stone snow tunnel is built off to the side. The 1930’s building had been designed for summer use, so when the Park began winter operations in the 1950’s, a non-conforming entrance tunnel was built out to the front parking lot.

April 13, 14, 15

Four park employees and two lake researchers helicopter to Wizard Island and spend three days conducting lake research. Jim Milestone, Jerry McCrea, Roger Andrascik, Kent Taylor, Mark Buktenica and Dr. Gary Larson.

April 15

Four Peregrine Falcon eggs are removed from a nest along the east rim and replaced with dummy eggs. Three of the four are viable.

April 20

Sleepy Hollow Cabins, 47, 49, & 54 are torn down and burned. All ten remaining cabins in Sleepy Hollow are burned during the week.

May 10

House Joint Memorial 14, “Be it Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon: We urge the National Park Service to preserve and restore historic Crater Lake Lodge as a national asset to provide lodging at Crater Lake National Park that can be enjoyed by future generations of Americans and increasing numbers of international visitors.”

May 15

The North Entrance Road opens. One of the earliest, if not the earliest in memory.

1986 - 1987

Snowfall: 427 inches, 36 feet.


The Rim Road is opened to two-way traffic for the first time in nearly 20 years.


Park Superintendent Bob Benton announces plans to improve Mazama Campground. The $640,142 project will include construction of roads, plumbing and electrical systems. The Park concessionaire, Canteen Corporation of Oregon will spend about $500,000 for the construction of a new store and lodgings which will replace the old Rim Village cabins that were torn town last year.

June 5

Brian Smith and Steve Brown, both 17, from Jacksonville, Oregon, snorkel for 3.5 hours in and around Cleetwood Cove. The earliest and youngest snorkeling in the Lake.


One and a half feet of snow closes the Rim Road along the Watchman.

August 9

The 12th running of the Crater Lake Marathon.

6. 7 miles Leonard Hill of Phoenix, OR    33.00
      Sandy Rowan of Klamath Falls, OR  39.39 (new record) 

13 miles  Dan Stearns, 26, of Bend, OR   1:15.08
      Connie Reints, 28, of Bend, OR  1:34:36

26 miles  Mike Sandlin,32, of Eugene, OR  
      Sandra Mike, 38, of Ukiah, CA  3:43:43

August 16

Scientists using a remote video camera to search the bottom of the Lake discover evidence of hydrothermal vents in the southeast quadrant of the lake at a depth of about 1,200 feet. The remotely controlled submersible vehicle had been launched on August 10. The underwater search project is being funded by a NPS grant of $78,000.


No precipitation recorded for the month.


Newly remodeled and restored Administration Building is completed and occupied by Park staff. 

The $875,000 renovation project is part of a $2.5 million multi-phase project to restore the Park’s historic buildings.

The newly renovated “Bunk House/Mess Hall” is occupied by the Ranger and Park Research staff. Renamed the “Canfield Building” after Superintendent Canfield who was superintendent when the building was built in the 1930’s.The is soon shortened to the “Can”.


John Fulton Jr, heavy equipment operator, transfers to Mt. Rainier National Park. This is the first time since 1946 (41 years) a Fulton has not been employed in the Park. John’s father joined the NPS one year after WWII.


Total precipitation for the month: 0.02 inches.

1987 Season

A mammal study of the Park shows that 37% of all mammal species have disappeared from the Park. Five species disappeared before the area became a National Park and five species have disappeared since 1902. “Because of the Park’s postage stamp size, only the area around the old mountain has been preserved. There are no protected low level wintering grounds. The Park is a forest island. A year-round park doesn’t mean people year-round, but rather animals year-round.

Season Visitation: 492,581

<< 1986   1987   1988 >>



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