There are several water bodies in
Crater Lake National Park, however, the streams and ponds are
often very inaccessible and managed as wilderness areas. And, most
swimmers want to swim in Crater Lake itself.
Cleetwood Cover is the only legal
and safe access to the edge of Crater Lake. Visitors are welcome
to swim in the lake in this area. This is accessed by the
Cleetwood Cover Trail.
Cleetwood Cove trail map, Crater Lake National Park
Please feel free to move or zoom in or out of the map below.
Crater Lake temperature
Although Crater Lake is too deep to ever reach a truly
comfortable temperature (even in the summer), plenty of people take the plunge
and do a few quick strokes to cool down after hiking the Cleetwood Cove Trail or
after exploring Wizard Island. But this is an informal activity, and there are
no facilities for swimmers.
Keep in mind that Crater Lake
is accessible only from about June 15 through
September 15 of each year due to our extreme snow conditions.
Earlier or later dives may be possible, but cannot be guaranteed
due to the variability of our weather.
Surface temperatures of the
lake water vary between 32°F (0°C) and 66°F (19°C). Summer
temperatures range normally between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (16°C).
Water more than 260 feet (80 meters) beneath the surface remains
cold all year long at a temperature near 38°F (3°C). During the
hottest time of the summer, the top water layers warm and become
less dense than colder water below. This condition of thermal
stratification usually continues into September.
The lake rarely freezes in
winter because of the large heat content of the lake, windy
surface conditions, and relatively mild air temperatures. The
most significant freezing event in recent history occurred
between January and April in 1949. The lake was mostly covered
with ice twice in 1985, in January and again in December.