Snowmobiling in Crater Lake National Park

Tucker At Crater Lake, 2 early 50s 443
The Tucker, an early snowmobile at Crater Lake in the early 1950’s.


Snowmobile use is permitted at Crater Lake National Park on the North Entrance Road from the park boundary to North Junction, where the entrance road meets Rim Drive. Snowmobile use is limited to the unplowed roadway.

To ensure protection of the park’s natural resources and to provide safety for all winter users, please comply with these regulations:

  • Snowmobiles must stay on the unplowed roadway.
  • Both headlight and taillight must be illuminated while the snowmobile is in operation.
  • Operators must carry a valid state registration for each snowmobile.
  • Maximum speed is 45 mph.
  • Operators must possess a valid state license or proof of state certification by an authorized state snowmobile safety officer.
  • Snowmobiles must be equipped with a muffler in good working order.
  • Wheeled vehicles are prohibited.

The Crater Lake area is beautiful during the winter, but it can also be hazardous. Check current conditions at Crater Lake National Park, for avalanche danger, closed roads, and more.

Local Tip: Snowmobiling at Diamond Lake

The Diamond Lake area in the Umpqua National Forest offers many more trails and developed facilities for snowmobiles – and fewer restrictions. The Diamond Lake Ranger District can be contacted Monday though Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at (541) 498-2531. Snowmobile rentals, repairs and sales are offered by Diamond Lake Resort. The resort also offers food, lodging and ski rentals. Diamond Lake Resort can be contacted at (800) 733-7593.

Snowmobiling in

Crater Lake National Park

9.2 miles

Route is on the North Entrance Road

Total distance: 9.2 miles


Northern park boundary

(mile 0.0)  Highway 138 enters Crater Lake National Park amidst a forest of hemlocks and Shasta red firs.


North Entrance sign

(mile .18)  You will find an Entrance sign here. This is s a nice location for a photograph.


North Entrance Station

(mile 0.75)


Lodgepole pine forest turnout

(mile .88)  At this elevation in the park lodgepole pine is usually the first tree to gain a foothold in areas denuded by fire or other catastrophes.


Pumice Desert Entrance

(mile 3.7)  At this point the visitor leaves the lodgepole pine forest and enters the Pumice Desert, a broad flat in the northern section of the park. This desert was covered with pumice and ash more than 200 feet deep in some places by the explosion of Mount Mazama. It has only started to be invaded by scattered lodgepole pines. Due to its scarcity of organic matter, few plants have taken hold to further enrich the soil. Straight ahead is Llao Rock with the point of Hillman Peak to it’s right. Mount Scott is to the southeast.


Pumice Desert Turnout

(mile 4.26)  There is an interpretive marker here describing the origins of the Pumice Desert. Desert Ridge and Desert Cone lie to the northwest and Timber Crater is to the northeast. This is also a great location for photographs. Timber Crater (7,403 feet) is to the Northeast.


Lodgepole pine forest

(mile 4.3)  The road reenters the lodgepole pine forest after leaving the Pumice Desert. Looking back toward the Pumice Desert, one can see Mount Thielsen.


Grouse Hill

(mile 5.2)  To the left (east, as you drive south) is Grouse Hill, an old dacite flow. It is steep-sided and wooded. Diller, an early geologist, supposed that the lava of Grouse Hill was older than the Llao Rock flow. There is, in fact, no way of deciding which of the two flows is the older. Probably they are of about the same age.


Red Cone

(mile 6.0)  To the right (west, as you drive south) is Red Cone. This is the best preserved, the largest, and probably the youngest of the three northern cones. Much more lava escaped from this vent than from Desert Cone or Bald Crater.


Llao Rock Outcrops

(mile 6.4)  The dacite outcrops to the left are a part of the Llao Rock lava flow.


North Junction

(mile 9.2)  This is the junction of the North Entrance road, the northern extend of the West Rim Drive (head to the northeast), and East Rim Drive (drive to the south). Continue on to the south (West Rim Drive) to find the Rim Village.

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