Astronomy Site: Crater Lake National Park

National Park Stargazing International Dark Sky Places IDA Dark Sky

An absolute gem of a national park, Crater Lake is a place that everyone should visit! The astronomical views are great and should be experienced! We are not saying by any means at all to disturb the wildlife or damage the ecosystem, rather we are saying that if one is in the area, check it out!

Notes/Suggestions: From personal suggestion: Hamilton Mountain is a great area to go, but note, might have to deal with lights from Klamath Falls and the Visitor Center when trying to shoot to the South. That is to the center of the Milky Way.

Please make sure to check and get a permit before going if there are any questions. Note: if commercial filming is being done. Use the link to apply. Make sure to get one if there are questions: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/commercial-film-and-photo-permits.htm

If you’re going for dark skies, you can bring anything you like, but you MUST clean up after yourself and follow the instructions of any of the rangers if approached. Stay on the paved areas and stay safe. 

This is located in a Bortel Black Zone and can be one of the best areas to view the Milky Way. It is close to the city of Klamath Falls and the Crater Lake Lodge can provide lights to counter the darkness. So the best thing to do is look in the other way for the best viewing.

Location

  • There is no designated astronomy area, but one can setup along the stops in the road.
  • How far outside of Portland? ~265 miles, about 4:40 minutes not including traffic and stops
  • Google Maps Location

Parking

  • # of spots: 30+ near lodge. Pullover spots are 20 or so.
  • Cost For Parking–Free with entry pass.
  • Cost of Entry Pass: Per Crater Lake NPS Site
    • Cars – $25 in the summer (May 22-October 31), $15 in the winter (November 1-May 21). Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15-passenger capacity or less) and all occupants. Good for 7 days.
    • Motorcycles – $20 in the summer (May 22-October 31), $15 in the winter (November 1-May 21). Admits one or two passengers on a private, non-commercial motorcycle. Good for 7 days.
    • Bicycles & Pedestrians – $12 per individual. Admits one individual with no car (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian). Youth 15 and under are admitted free of charge. Good for 7 days.
    • Commercial Vehicles: Capacity of 1 to 6 passengers – $25 + $5 per passenger Capacity of 7 to 15 passengers – $75 Capacity of 16 to 25 passengers – $10. Capacity of 26 or more passengers – $200
  • Entrance Permit(s) Required: Yes
  • Where Permit(s) Can Be Obtained: Park Entrance or YourPassNow

Overnight Accommodations

Chart was found at the NPS website. There is the Crater Lake Lodge as well, if one is looking for a more hotel like stay, as compared to tent sleeping. Reservations can be made via travelcraterlake.

Campground Open Dates Elevation # of Spots Cost Type
Mazama Campground June 15 to late September 6000′ 214 $22 / $31 Max RV length 50′
Lost Creek early July to mid-October 6000′ 16 $10 Tents only

Upcoming Weather


KLAMATH FALLS WEATHER

Current Seeing Conditions/Forecast Charts




The chart above is courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com and the chart below is courtesy of Clearoutside.com



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