Resources 1984 – F. Campgrounds

Historic Resource Study, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1984

IX. Trails and Campgrounds of Crater Lake National Park


F. Campgrounds

Two campgrounds existed at Crater Lake in 1898, one at the foot of the last hill, on a small stream, about two miles below the lake rim, and the other up at the top on the rim edge. During the summer of 1896 there was a temporary restaurant at the lower camp where board could be had for one dollar per day, although no lodging was provided. [30] By 1909 the Crater Lake Company was maintaining two camps under contract with the Department of the Interior–Camp Arant, near the superintendent’s headquarters, and Camp Crater, on the rim of the crater five miles from the former. These two areas advertised accommodations for 544 persons. [31]

In 1913 the two permanent campsites in the park were still functioning and meals were served. Heretofore only tents had been used for sleeping, one visitor to the tent camp on the rim noting that

on account of violent storms prevalent in that vicinity they were found to be unsatisfactory. . . . A few days prior to my arrival, nearly all the tents had been blown down or damaged by a severe wind storm. The sanitary condition of these camps appeared to have been good. . . . The lavatories consisted of out-buildings over sink holes. . . . [32]

At this time, however, work was underway on a handsome stone building that was projected for possible limited use by 1914. A kitchen and dining room would be opened first and then the rooms as they were finished. Two wooden buildings used up to this point as a kitchen and dining room were to be remodeled and used for sleeping quarters. A number of six-room cottages were also planned to shelter guests. [33]

By 1915 the Crater Lake Company still ran two hotel camps, and in addition had boats and launches on the lake. Anna Spring Camp was Located at the head of Annie Creek Canyon where a spring flowed nearly 1,000 gallons a minute. This campground was open July 1 to September 30. A new road finished the year before provided access to the Lake rim five miles away, and daily auto stages ran between the camp and Crater Lake Lodge, leaving at 8:00 a.m. and returning at 5:30 p.m. Tents were provided as sleeping accommodations in connection with the sixty-four-room lodge. There was a general merchandise store at Anna Spring Camp with a branch store at the lodge, where all supplies, including hay, grain, oil, gas, groceries, provisions, cameras, fruits, candies, nuts, tobacco, and drugs could be bought. [34] In 1916 it was reported that there were floored tents for 100 people at the rim and for 50 more at Annie Spring.

A 1918 report of the director of the National Park Service mentions that the public campgrounds on the caldera rim had been improved during the previous season. A tank and pumping equipment were to be installed soon to supply water to campers on the rim grounds, a short distance west of the lodge, “in a beautiful alpine park area commanding a wonderful view of the lake” (in the area of the present picnic grounds).[35] Prior to this improvement water had to be taken from the hotel supply, which had proved inadequate.