A Historic Hotel of America - Crater Lake Lodge

The front of Crater Lake Lodge early morning after watching the sun come up over the lake.
The front of Crater Lake Lodge early morning after watching the sun come up over the lake. | Source

Historic Hotels of America and Crater Lake Lodge


Crater Lake Lodge is one of the many hotels around the country listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America, which are part of a National Trust for Historic Preservation. However, having stayed at a few of the historic hotels in the Northwest, I will tell you that Crater Lake Lodge is going to be top of the list for anyone who visits--hands down.

This 71-room lodge, extensively remodeled and reopened in 1995, built to resemble the original lodge which opened in 1915, is a beauty in and of itself. However, perched as it is on the literal edge of Crater Lake--it doesn't get much better than that. If you can step away from the view and get inside the lodge, more delights await you.

Once you're inside the lodge and feel the warmth, in part due to the beautiful use of ponderosa pine bark that lines the lodge's walls, you can't help but sigh in appreciation. If you spend a little time in the historical room depicting the timeline of the Crater Lake Lodge you'll have a fuller appreciation of the fact that the lodge was never demolished as was planned in the 1980s but instead was gutted and rebuilt from within--which leaves us with the beautiful historic hotel standing today. It is truly a work of art.

Visiting Crater Lake, I've overhead many people ask the question I used to ask myself--"Is this one of the wonders of the world?" The answer is no it isn't--but in this author's humble opinion, it should be.

There is no place on earth that can be compared to Crater Lake. The lake and Crater Lake Lodge are part of the Crater Lake National Park. The fact that you can travel to such a pristine setting and enjoy the ambiance of this historic lodge is amazing.

If that wasn't enough of a pitch for seeing it, consider the photo below which doesn't do the view justice by a long shot. The "lake view rooms" overlook Crater Lake in all her magnificent glory and made this author wish for more daylight hours so I could just gaze at her beauty.

If you want more shock and awe, enjoy the photo from the "back porch" of Crater Lake Lodge as well as the video. It's the most amazing deck view you'll ever have in your entire lifetime. You are right there and the snapshots will forever be imprinted on your soul.

If you haven't seen many of the historic hotels of America, add it to your bucket list.  There are some fabulous old hotels to be seen.
If you haven't seen many of the historic hotels of America, add it to your bucket list. There are some fabulous old hotels to be seen. | Source
Just like a 4-star hotel, during summer you are met by someone at the entrance to the lodge.
Just like a 4-star hotel, during summer you are met by someone at the entrance to the lodge. | Source

Accommodations at Crater Lake Lodge


  • Several types of rooms are available--if you're going for the view, I recommend the upper floor lake view
  • Even though within a national park, the hotel is beautifully appointed and though "rustic" is used to describe it, it's nearly luxurious in this author's opinion
  • Privacy and service are top priorities at the lodge
  • Great Northwest cuisine including fine wine selections are available in the dining room
  • Crater Lake Lodge as of 2012 offers wifi to its guests free of charge
  • Anyone can enjoy Crater Lake Lodge and the environs--just driving there to have lunch or dinner or sitting on the back porch for a soda or a beer--you will not go away unmoved or peaceful
  • There are 6 accessible guestrooms available
  • Bell hop services are available
  • Gift shop and a cafeteria are available
  • Laundry services are available
  • During summer, Annie Creek Restaurant and another gift shop are minutes away
  • Camper store and gas station are nearby--open during summer
  • CD/clock radio and oscillating fans in every room
  • Postal services and overnight shipping are available
  • Cabins are also available for rent through mid October

The wide open spaces from dining area to sitting area are warm and inviting with several fireplaces and multiple seating areas.
The wide open spaces from dining area to sitting area are warm and inviting with several fireplaces and multiple seating areas. | Source
Perfect area to warm up after a cold walk outside.
Perfect area to warm up after a cold walk outside. | Source

Operating Hours and Seasons at Crater Lake


Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room

  • Open daily mid May to mid October for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Reservations for dinner required
  • Closed mid October to late May

Steel Visitor Center

  • Open year round except Christmas
  • Open 10-4 daily early November through early April
  • Open 9-5 daily late April to early November
  • Post office Monday through Saturday 10-2 in winter, 9-3 in summer

Rim Visitor Center

  • Open late May to late September 9:30-5
  • Closed October to May

Rim Village Cafe and Gifts

  • 10-4:30 mid October to April
  • 9-6 starting in late April to September
  • Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas

Annie Creek Restaurant at Mazama Village (on the south side of the lake)

  • Open daily 9-8 late May to late September
  • Closed October to May
  • Longer hours July and August
  • Closes sometimes in late September due to weather

Mazama Village Camper Store

  • Open daily 8-8 late May until late September
  • Closed October to May
  • Gasoline is available mid May to mid October
  • No gasoline is available in the park from November through April

Crater Lake Lodge

  • 71 rooms
  • To make reservations visit craterlakelodges.com or call 888-774-2728
  • Open mid May to mid October
  • Closed mid October to late May

Mazama Cabins

  • 40 units located in Mazama Village
  • Open late May through September
  • To make reservations call 888-774-2728


Just one of many seating areas at Crater Lake Lodge on the main floor.  You can order drinks or food, read, or simply admire the view.
Just one of many seating areas at Crater Lake Lodge on the main floor. You can order drinks or food, read, or simply admire the view. | Source
Ponderosa pine pillars adorn the entire lodge and are so life-like you might be tempted to wander outside to see if they grow out through the roof.
Ponderosa pine pillars adorn the entire lodge and are so life-like you might be tempted to wander outside to see if they grow out through the roof. | Source

Rooms at Crater Lake Lodge


This author has been to visit Mt. Rainier National Park and stayed at the lodge there. It is a fascinating place and the lodge itself is again, a must see to believe kind of place. However, there, you can pay about the same price as at Crater Lake Lodge and have a room that you are barely able to turn around in.

Depending on the season or how busy they might be due to the weather, you also may find yourself with a bedroom/closet to sleep in and a bathroom and shower down the hall. However, because of its raw beauty, people don't seem to mind.

That said, for the money, this author found that the rooms at Crater Lake Lodge were more than adequate and well appointed, spotlessly clean and what can I say? The view was to die for.

It should be noted that the lodge closes in mid October due to snowfall that usually accumulates over 500 inches and can cover the roof of the lodge. Since it sits above 7100 feet on the rim of the lake, that isn't surprising.

Snows also cause the north entrance to close at times. This author has visited in July and there has still been snow on the ground.

If you have traveled the roads around Crater Lake, especially coming in from the north entrance, you can see why road closures become necessary with the precipitous drop off the side of the road literally hundreds of feet.

Keep in mind that there are no phones in the rooms and no TV. There are also no TV's in the lobby or anywhere in the lodge that this author ever saw--it was a welcome respite.

Pets are not allowed in any of the rooms.

For groups and/or meetings, inquire about bookings for 10 or more rooms. Rooms are available at the lodge and also at the Mazama Village cabins. Discounts do apply for groups.

The picture doesn't do justice to the lovely room but especially not to the view.
The picture doesn't do justice to the lovely room but especially not to the view. | Source
A room with a view--you can easily see Wizard Island and the entire lake from this 2nd story room square in the center of the floor.
A room with a view--you can easily see Wizard Island and the entire lake from this 2nd story room square in the center of the floor. | Source
The back of Crater Lake Lodge once the sun hit the sky after a beautiful sunrise over the lake.
The back of Crater Lake Lodge once the sun hit the sky after a beautiful sunrise over the lake. | Source

Dining at Crater Lake Lodge


While this author has read some less than complimentary reviews of dining experiences at Crater Lake Lodge, I would have to disagree.

During our recent visit, we indulged in eating lunch, dinner and then breakfast at the lodge to get the "full experience."

We found the food to be very upscale and while on the higher side considering price, thinking about it, where we were, the ambiance, the view--all I could say in the end was it was worth it.

We found the menus to have a wide range of options for a national park lodge and the food was all prepared to our satisfaction.

The dinner menu was extensive and the selection of wines and beers great for traveling foodies.

The lodge dining room does concentrate on foods of Northwest cuisine but we found them to be delectable, tolerable in the price range and altogether enjoyed every meal we ate at the lodge. The fact that they buy Oregon products and are ecofriendly in all their approaches at the facilities made us even happier. When folks are doing good things, you don't mind spending a little more for something.

For those wishing to save a bit, drinks and bar type foods are served in the lobby area where you can sit with friends and chat while enjoying the same good food, play a game or even stroll out onto the back porch to worship the view.

This author's feeling on the entire dining experience was peppered with the thought--"just think where you are." I think we would have gladly eaten sticks for dinner!

The menu for the Crater Lake Lodge restaurant--a trip to remember.
The menu for the Crater Lake Lodge restaurant--a trip to remember. | Source
Set for evening dinner hour, the restaurant offers fabulous food to please any palate.
Set for evening dinner hour, the restaurant offers fabulous food to please any palate. | Source

Things Not to Miss at Crater Lake Lodge


  • Hello--Crater Lake! You will never see anything so magnificent in your life
  • Hikes--there are countless different hikes you can take around the lake from extremely difficult to extremely easy
  • Sit on the back porch and have a beer, a cup of coffee or a soda--you will never forget it
  • Listen to a ranger talk--this author got to experience one on the back porch with a glass of wine--fabulous! And they're free!
  • Order appetizers and play a game of chess in the lobby in front of the fire
  • Have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the beautiful dining room--make reservations for dinner
  • Watch the sunrise from the back porch of the lodge with a steaming cup of coffee
  • Check out the Sinnott Memorial Lookout point for spectacular views--just a short walk from the lodge
  • Pick up the Crater Lake Trolley Tour which runs 2-4 times per day depending on the season and spend 2 hours touring the entire lake while someone else does the driving
  • Check out the Exhibit Room downstairs off the lobby--you would be amazed at the history of the Crater Lake Lodge and what it took to build it
  • Visit the gift shops and take home a memento of this unbelievable place
  • Shoot, shoot, shoot--this author took upwards of 3000 pictures this year of this place because it is that beautiful! Every day is a different scene and every season has its own raw beauty in this place
  • Sit outside on the back porch or in the lobby and chat it up with people from around the world--we were amazed at how many fascinating people we met and the wonderful conversations we had with all of them! We all agreed on one thing, however--this place was absolutely wondrous in its beauty
  • Drive the entire lake yourself but let the driver stop often to take pictures and look--the drop-offs are frightening so much easier to take the trolley tour!
  • Open your mind and experience the perfect quiet that this beautiful place offers

The back porch to die for.  There is no other back porch view like this one.
The back porch to die for. There is no other back porch view like this one. | Source

History of Crater Lake Lodge


Some of the most notable timeline points in the history of this historic lodge

  • 1886--Clarence Dutton brought a survey party to Crater Lake and William Gladstone Steel fell in love with the place
  • 1902--Mr. Steel (after 17 years of fighting) convinced Teddy Roosevelt to declare Crater Lake a national park--we are in his debt forever
  • 1905--Road constructed to caldera rim--note that the roads were originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers and what an incredible feat that was!
  • 1909--Mr. Steel convinced Alfred Parkhurst (a Portland Oregon developer) to build a lodge--"if you build it they will come"--Mr. Steel was a very persistent though unrecognized hero--construction begins
  • 1910--first cars called locomobiles come to the rim
  • 1915--Crater Lake Lodge opened in the midst of World War I on June 28th
  • 1922--The lodge was remodeled which took 2 years--doubling the number of guestrooms and adding private baths to a new wing
  • 1924--Rooms in the new annex open
  • 1928--Awnings were added to the outside of the building
  • 1929--Guests complain about the furnishings--105 sleeping rooms, 20 with private baths at the time
  • 1930--Up to this time, still no heat in the rooms
  • 1933--Sod and plants were added though it was hard to keep things alive at this altitude
  • 1938--Laundry was added on site--before it was being shipped to Medford or Klamath Falls
  • 1941-1942--Safety issues closed the lodge
  • 1950--Supports were added to hold up the ceiling and walls (remember that during winter, the snows can completely cover the entire lodge)
  • 1965--Roof was re-shingled
  • 1967--National Park Service acquired Crater Lake
  • 1975--Contamination of the water supply closed Crater Lake Lodge
  • 1980--Public meetings began as the lodge was set for demolition
  • 1981--Crater Lake Lodge was entered into the National Register of Historic Places
  • 1984--Public outcry saved Crater Lake Lodge from demolition
  • 1988--National Park Service decides to rehab the lodge
  • 1991-1995--Reconstruction of Crater Lake Lodge giving us the grand old girl we see today

View this and more photos detailing the history of Crater Lake Lodge in the History Room just off the main lobby.  Fascinating historical exhibit.
View this and more photos detailing the history of Crater Lake Lodge in the History Room just off the main lobby. Fascinating historical exhibit. | Source
show route and directions
A markerCrater Lake Lodge -
Crater Lake National Park, Crescent Lake, OR 97604, USA
[get directions]

B markerKlamath Falls -
Klamath Falls, OR, USA
[get directions]

C markerBend Oregon -
Bend, OR, USA
[get directions]

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Comments 13 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Virginia for stopping by--and what a treat indeed it was. I definitely could go back again and again and see something new every time. Bob got a little ticked at me as I disappeared--literally--on the rim walk I discovered and kept going and going--the ever ready bunny. He was about to call the rangers as he was afraid I'd fallen over the edge--I just get carried away literally when I go there...it's SO peaceful and so beautiful--oh well--next time I have to wear a device he said so he can track me!


VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 3 years ago from United States

We visited Crater Lake with my cousin and her family and very much enjoyed looking at the lodge. I would love to stay there some time! They did stay there for a wedding anniversary and had a great time. Voted up and pinned!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks Helen--if you hand me a camera, I can't seem to stop shooting photos and surely that place is inspiring on SO many levels. Wonderful place, wonderful national park and beautiful scenery. I think I'm going back as a birthday present to myself--the lodge is closed now but going to drive around and hope for some snow pictures!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland

What an awesome place - the scenery and the hotel are absolutely fantastic! I love the way you have itemised all the good points and things not to be missed. Especially if you're a first time visitor you can see at a glance what's on offer and so on.

I have to say though, that one of the favourite parts of your excellent hub is the photographs!!! They are outstanding and stunning! I agree 100% with drbj - you would be great for this hotel's PR!!

Another beautiful and wonderful hub Audrey!! Voted up + shared!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Eddy~

Mia--I haven't done the wine trail and will have to think about doing that! We keep going back because we absolutely love it--it's about 4 hours from our home in Central Oregon.


mia capretta profile image

mia capretta 3 years ago from North America

We fell in love with Crater Lake a few years ago while visiting friends in the Applegate Valley (the Wine Trail is not to be missed if you are in the area). Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Only one word here;Brilliant!!!!

Enjoy your weekend.

Eddy.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Awesome Steph--I wish I was going back and I've gone twice in the past 2 months~ I'm thinking we may just take 2 of our mals and drive down and hope for the best lodging wise a ways--like in Klamath Falls as I want to do some bird photos there ANYHOW--and then drive around the lake as much as we can and get some snow photos...snow shoeing sounds AWESOME and our mals are really good at that--great idea!!! I only hope they don't pull me somewhere I do not want to go!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Really love Crater Lake - and aren't we blessed living so close to the deepest lake in N. America? Our family has visited a number of times. This year, we are going to go in winter and snow shoe. Beautify Audrey! Rated up!!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Oh my--beaches in Oregon--we are famous for them--but they are literally "cool" most of the time in terms of water temp....check out Newport, Depoe Bay (my favorite), Cannon Beach, Seaside, Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Gold Bar, Tillamook....the list is endless--and those are mostly just the northern ones--there are sand dunes at Florence--Oregon beaches are some of the most rugged and magnificently photographic in the world! That's another of my favorite places to go--even if you have to usually wear a jacket~


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Looks astounding! I'm not that fond of snow though. High altitudes can make me sick. I love Colorado, but don't go there because of these reasons.

Are there any cool beaches in Oregon?


akirchner profile image

akirchner 3 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, BJ--from your lips to God's ears~ Wouldn't it be nice? There are actually apartment type dwellings where the folks who work there live all season long--except for not probably having my pups which I'd die without--it's a tempting thought to live there for a few months! Gorgeous place and sooooo quiet!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

You have captured the unique charm and warm ambience of Crater Lake Lodge with this hub, Audrey, and your photos are outstanding and very professional-looking.

Bring a copy of this article with you the next time you visit and if they don't hire you on the spot as their chief PR person, I'll eat my hat. (Fortunately, I don't wear one.) But I can award an Up - which I just did!

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