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  1. #1
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Crater lake rides and other things

    My wife and I are considering a vacation to crater lake in the future and I would like to know some good inexpensive (relatively) accomadations in the area and also how the roads around crater lake are. Are they very high traffic volume and super high climbs and are they very narrow. My wife is a pretty timid rider on the road and if its too freaky I'm never gonna get her to go. On the other hand what are some of the other recreational opportunities in the area. I'm thinking there should be some good hiking and also boating. Are there boat tours on the lake itself. I guess I'm asking for a rundown of interesting fun things to do in the area. We are not opposed to staying out of the immediate area to save on lodging either. Thanks for any info.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  2. #2
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
    My wife and I are considering a vacation to crater lake in the future and I would like to know some good inexpensive (relatively) accomadations in the area and also how the roads around crater lake are. Are they very high traffic volume and super high climbs and are they very narrow. My wife is a pretty timid rider on the road and if its too freaky I'm never gonna get her to go. On the other hand what are some of the other recreational opportunities in the area. I'm thinking there should be some good hiking and also boating. Are there boat tours on the lake itself. I guess I'm asking for a rundown of interesting fun things to do in the area. We are not opposed to staying out of the immediate area to save on lodging either. Thanks for any info.
    The Crater Lake Lodge is fairly luxurious, meaning expensive. The Diamond Lake Lodge is about 20 miles away down the hill and much cheaper. They also have an extensive campground and a bike trail around Diamond Lake. I highly recommend bringing mosquito repellent.

    There are boat tours which run July through September. Make reservations- they always sell out.

    The road around Crater Lake itself is narrow, has lots of climbing, and is at high altitude. Lots of people ride it, so car traffic is pretty tolerant and tolerable. Here's what the National Park Service has to say about it:
    http://www.crater.lake.national-park.com/hike.htm#bike

    It's beautiful up there if the weather's right: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohpv/se...th/5160410274/

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  3. #3
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    Well as far as inexpensive, you could stay in Klamath Falls where there are a number of inexpensive hotels. Wife and I stayed at the Olympia Best Western and it was clean and acceptable. You could then drive up to the rim of Crater Lake and just ride the rim. The rim is not that bad as far as climbing is concerned and it's pretty easy ordinary as far as road conditions are concerned.

    You may want to call and see if the roads are even open. I know they are closed for a lot of the Winter.

    I'd recommend a nice low gearing if you or your wife aren't strong cyclists. I rode it with a compact double and didn't find it very difficult.
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  4. #4
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    The roads around the rim are fine, not that much car traffic, heaviest traffic on weekends, week days are best to ride. The thing is that there are really slow speed limits around the rim, like 35 to 45, and the traffic there is not like on regular roads. It's very safe, and very beautiful, a great ride experience that you won't forget.

    I'll second Diamond Lake Resort, http://www.diamondlake.net/

    It's a nice ride from there into the park and around the rim, lots of climbing to get to the rim.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  5. #5
    Senior Member busygizmo's Avatar
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    Great place to ride, traffic light by National Park standards. Road is rarely flat and pavement can be a bit rough.

    We were there for the Crater Lake Century 3 years ago.

    http://www.craterlakecentury.com/

    Nice ride organized out of Fort Klamath just south of the park. We camped a couple of nights inisde the park and then at a private campground in Fort Klamath for the the days around the ride. The place alos had cabins to rent. Pretty nice but there were tons of Mosquitoes.

    Dinner at the lodge was a nice splurge.

    IMO Klamath Falls is a bit far away.

    Not sure where you are coming from and how much time you have but we combined Crater Lake with a few days in Ashland. Did two stellar rides there, the lakes loop and Mt. Ashland and caught a couple of great plays. It's a long drive to southern Oregon from Seattle so maximize your experience.

    Crater Lake is stunningly beautiful but there is not a ton to do in the Park. A few short hikes, the boat tour, drive the rim, bike the rim etc.

  6. #6
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    A few decades after the invention of the derailleur, the Eugene Parks Department took a busload of folks and bicycles up to Crater Lake to ride Rim Drive. Let us out at Rim Village and we rode clockwise, the best way to see the lake. Only problem with that is that the last few miles are all uphill. But, after a day of riding up, down, up, down, etc. it really wasn't that bad. Elevation is a bit high, so don't plan on going really fast unless you're acclimated.

    The boat ride leaves from the Cleetwood Cove Trail at the NE side of the lake. You hike down to the water, ride the boat, and then have to hike back up. I would say, do the boat ride first, drive around the lake, get prepared for what the ride will be like.

    Diamond Lake is a good place to stay. Cabins there have kitchens, there's a store where you can get food. If you really like to ride your bike downhill, there is a long descent down the North Umpqua highway (20 or so miles after you leave the top) going west from Diamond Lake toward Roseburg. Maybe you can ride and your spouse can come along later.

    Diamond Lake used to have great fishing, but was taken over by some little introduced bait fish that eats all of the little rainbow trout. Ashland, yes.

    So: Drive over the Cascades to Yakima. Drive south on 97 through Bend. Look at the High Desert Museum just south of Bend. For a mini-crater experience, drive up the twisty road to Paulina Lake (used to have platform tents, and cabins, to rent there). Go on to Ashland, see a play or two. Go on to Diamond Lake. Drive the rim, do the boat trip. Ride the rim, celebrate. Drive down to Roseburg, and then up I-5 to Pugetopolis, or west from Roseburg to Coos Bay and up the Oregon Coast.

  7. #7
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    It's a beautiful ride. As suggested, stay in Klamath Falls and drive out to where you want to start. Look here if you want to see what awaits you; it is stunning. I rode the Crater Lake Century in 2007 and am saving up to go again (I live in Virginia). It may be the best road ride I've ever done.

    http://www.steephill.tv/galleries/2005/crater-lake/

  8. #8
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Dunno 'bout cheap sleeps (tho' KFalls is a good recommendation), but the traffic volumes in the National Park would probably be wildly variable. Mid-week probably best in that regard. I rode the Crater Lake Century several years back, and IIRC, saw something like 20 cars (on the road) the whole way around the loop. This was on a September (post-Labor Day) Saturday. I'd think weekends between July 4 and Labor Day would be the worst. Also, early season could be pretty iffy: Crater Lake gets some of the heaviest snowfall in the lower 48. Think 2 or 3 STORIES deep.

    SP
    Bend, OR

    ps - there's plenty of nice riding 'round here too. Let me know if you want more info on that.

  9. #9
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Dunno 'bout cheap sleeps (tho' KFalls is a good recommendation), but the traffic volumes in the National Park would probably be wildly variable. Mid-week probably best in that regard. I rode the Crater Lake Century several years back, and IIRC, saw something like 20 cars (on the road) the whole way around the loop. This was on a September (post-Labor Day) Saturday. I'd think weekends between July 4 and Labor Day would be the worst. Also, early season could be pretty iffy: Crater Lake gets some of the heaviest snowfall in the lower 48. Think 2 or 3 STORIES deep.
    I think the weather starts getting iffy after Labor Day, too. The year we joined Oregon Bike Ride (link) the weather down low was hotter than Hades, but the loop around Crater Lake was perfect. That was August. Cycle Oregon did a similar route in September and many people didn't make it to the rim road- a storm rolled in and they had to bus people back from the top- people weren't prepared for riding downhill in the snow.
    Jeff Wills

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