Nestled in the Southwest corner of Oregon sits Crater Lake National Park. This national park features a gorgeous titanic aqua lake surrounded by stunning granite peaks. The massive crater lake was created by Mount Mazama, a previously active volcano. The cost to enter the park are as follows:
- Recreational Vehicle : $30
- Personal Car: $30
- Personal Motorcycle : $25
- Pedestrians, Hikers, Bikers : $15
The fee to enter all national parks was adjusted in June 2018. The entrance fee you pay allows you to enter the park, but also goes directly toward park improvements. 80 percent of the fee you pay goes towards restoring park trails, improving park infrastructure and facilities, expanding park programs, and developing historical park projects. The other 20 percent of your entrance fee goes towards the budgets of other national parks to help with similar projects. To pay your entrance fee, just drive up to a park entrance station and there you can pay a park ranger and receive your park entrance pass and park map.
How long is the entrance pass for Crater Lake valid for?
Once you pay and receive your receipt for your entry, the entrance pass is valid for a full seven days. You should display your entrance pass on your vehicle’s dashboard at all times. The pass allows you to enter and exit Crater Lake for a full week. The entrance pass is only valid for seven consecutive days, so you cannot leave and return more than seven days later. The pass is also non transferable and non shareable.
Are there ever any days that is free to enter Crater Lake?
If you’re looking for a few ways to save money on the park entrance pass, there are actually a few ways. The first option is that the National Park Service celebrates six events throughout the year and waive the park entrance fee for all park visitors. The six days you can enter Crater Lake National Park for free are:
- January 20 – Martin Luther King Jr Day
- April 18 – Celebrating National Park Week
- August 5 – Celebrating the Great American Outdoors Act
- August 25 – Celebrating National Park Service Birthday
- September 26 – Celebrating National Public Lands Day
- November 11 – Celebrating Veterans Day
For these fee free days all you need to do is drive up to the park entrance station and you will be able to enter for free. Be sure to check with a park ranger the exact days as these dates can possibly change in the future.
Are there ever any discounts to enter Crater Lake National Park?
For those of you who cannot visit during the fee free days, there are a number of ways to save money on the park entrance fee. The National Park Service provides the American the Beautiful Annual Pass, the Fourth Grader Annual Pass, US Active Duty Annual Pass, and Senior Passes. These passes are available and present many opportunities depending on your situation to save money!
America the Beautiful Annual Pass: $80
The first option available to everyone is the America the Beautiful Annual Pass which costs just $80. This pass allows park visitors to visit all national parks for just $80 in a twelve month time span. This pass lets you enter any national park or federal land for free. This is a great option to save money if you plan on visiting a minimum of three national parks within twelve months. The pass ends up paying for itself after those initial three visits. Beyond that everything other national park visit saves you more and more money!
Fourth Grader Annual Pass: Free!
An option for parents with fourth graders is obtaining the Fourth Grader Annual Pass. This pass is available to all fourth graders in the US. To get this pass just head on over to the government sponsored EveryKidOutdoors.gov. On that site you can register for a free annual pass form. Just print out the form and present it to a park ranger at the park entrance station. This pass is valid for all passengers in the car.
US Active Duty Military Annual Pass: Free!
For those of you that are active duty in the US Military you get a free annual pass. To get this free annual pass just bring your active duty military badge to present to a park ranger. The park ranger will hand you an annual pass that is valid for twelve months from the day you receive the pass. Once the twelve months is up and your pass expires, just bring your active duty military badge to the park ranger to obtain another one!
Senior Annual or Lifetime Passes: $20 or $60
The option available to seniors are the senior annual pass or the senior lifetime pass. The Senior annual pass costs $20 and allows seniors and their passengers to enter the national parks for free for a full year. This is a great option for those wanting more outdoor adventures for the upcoming year. For those of you looking for multiple trips over many years a great option is the lifetime pass for $60. This pass lets you enter national parks for free for the rest of your life!
Crater Lake National Park is a remarkable place filled with many hiking trails, gorgeous views of the astonishing crater lake, grand granite peaks, and so much more. The adventure and memories this park will provide are definitely worth the low cost of entry.