One of two campgrounds officially in the park, outside of a backcountry permit, Mazama Village is certainly not a place of solitude, notching in around 200+ sites, but if amenities are your m.o.—camp store, restaurant, showers, gas station—for $21/tent site, you won’t find a better option, other than the historic lodge on the rim of the lake.
Combined with RV spots, and the popularity of Crater Lake as a Seven-Wonder of Oregon bucket-list spot, the village is pretty much at capacity all season long, as such you’re bound to have a diverse social experience from tourist to family to rowdy glamper, but in my handful of experiences here, everyone pretty much respects the 10 p.m. quite hours in favor of waking up to those gorgeous ponderosa pine blanketing the grounds.
Otherwise, re: solitude—giddy-up a dash for Mazama’s much more low-key, tent-only 16-site sibling a few miles closer to the rim, Lost Creek, which ditches reservations entirely, instituting a first-come, first-served option, and Pro-Tip 🤫 : is only $10!
I arrived mid-day in the middle of the week mid-September. There were lots and lots of campsites to choose from. The campground has several loops and is the bigger of the two campground in the park. Mazama is the only RV campground at Crater Lake. There are trails right near the campground and you can walk to Annie's cafe, a small and sparse general store, and a gift shop. Water and flush toilets are available. When I was there it was very chilly all day but especially at night.
Campground Review: Mazama Village Campground at Crater Lake National Park
Despite the crazy-hazy smoke surrounding Crater Lake, my family had an absolutely amazing time camping at Oregon's only national park. We made our reservation less than a month in advance for a Thursday night and managed to grab one of the "12x12-foot" tent sites. We'd read about the reservation process beforehand, so arrived around 1pm at the Mazama village store to receive a map and told to look for any "blue" post camp sites that were open. We headed straight for the tent-only loop (G) and grabbed what I think is one of the best spots in the entire campground. Absolutely huge campsite for a national park, amazing views, and near a water spigot. We were pretty far from the flush toilets, but otherwise quite perfect.
Mazama "Village" is right at the entrance to the campground and has a small store, showers, laundry and a nice enough restaurant. We were 4 miles from the National Park headquarters where there's a video of the lake and junior ranger activities and another 5 miles after that is Crater Lake with its tiny store, nice lodge and a few lookouts. The days we were there the smoke from regional wildfires was so bad we couldn't see the water in the crater, but we still had a great time and are excited to try again next year with hopefully better visibility.
Ranger Review: Oofos Slides
Great location minutes from Crater Lake. We walked in with no reservation and easily found a spot. They have some electric hook ups but we took a dry spot(same price, $31.00). Many pull through. Bathrooms and free showers. Store, gas station. Picnic tables and fire pits at every spot. My only gripe was since the campsites are so large you get lots of families utilizing one spot so it gets really loud once everyone gets back from day excursions. We had 2-3 families in one spot next to us with 4-5 screaming kids riding their scooters around until dark. So perhaps look for a spot that doesn’t have 8-10 chairs around it if you’re looking for a quiet spot.
Mazama village campground is located just inside the south entrance to Crater lake national park, about 5 or so miles from the rim.
Mazama village is a very large campground with cabins, a motor lodge and 7 loops with about 30 sites per loop. Each loop has flushing toilets and running water in the gender specific restrooms, and water bibs as well. Each site has a bear box, fire pit, table, and some have RV power hookups. They don't seem to have dish water troughs though.
What I found strange was the check-in process. I made reservations months in advance, but when I arrived; it wasn't a specific site I reserved, but a chance to choose a site. Sites are allocated by RV and tents; by size. There is only one loop, E that is specifically for smaller tents, so I was forced to choose from only 5 sites. I was able to luck out and find a decent site with shade and some privacy, as it was hot and dry and a lot of the sites did not offer much for privacy.
Upon entering the campgrounds you find the Annie creek restaurant and gift shop, I had chili and cornbread for dinner and wasn't too impressed with it for the price. There is also a general store, fuel pump, laundry mat and pay showers. You can also make bookings for tours and other activities at the general store.
Crater lake itself was amazing and there were tons of hikes and activites to take advantage of around the rim. It is a drive though, getting from the campground to points of interest on the rim, luckily the vistor center is the first thing you come across as you head up the west rim drive. There they also have a little gift shop and info on the national park.
On my last night in the campground I was exhausting my options for hikes and had been trying to find the nearby Annie creek trail. I ended up walking through the campgrounds and found the trail head behind the amplitheter; that happens to hold church service on Sunday. The trail was pretty sweet, it is a 2 mi. loop and either direction you start it's quite a drop into the gorge to a creek oasis running through the middle. It was quite a treat to find as the sun was going down on my final night.
All said, it was an okay campground not the best I've stayed in, but I made the most of it and had an amazing time visiting my own states national park; Crater lake.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt I get the chance to test and review outdoor gear from time to time. This is my testing and review for the Baltoro 65 ruck sack from https://www.gregorypacks.com/
Let me start by saying this pack is AWESOME! I have never been able to afford such a quality pack in the past and have always had an inexpensive pack. I am amazed at the difference in quality when it comes to a true backpacking pack made by a reputable company.
I have always been a big guy and after hurting my knee many years ago, I never found the inspiration to start real backpacking. For the past 10 years I have been building my gear box and moving more toward lighter and more quality gear. With the help of TheDyrt and Gregory as well as other fine outdoor companies; I have finally rounded out my gear especially with this pack being the final touch. I now feel I have the confidence, gear, and with growing experince to tackle harder, longer and steeper treks.
I received this pack just before my road trip to Crater lake. I tested it a few times before my departure and then many times while on the way to the park. I kept if full, around 40+ lbs. on all hikes, including 11 mi. on the Diamond view lake trail, Rosary lakes PCT section trail and the Howlock mtn. trail at Diamond lake. Then to top off the week; 5 mi. up Mt. Scott at Crater Lake. I was amazed at how good it felt and how well it handled the weight. It was real nice with all the adjustments that can be made, to make it fit me perfectly and make it actually comforable to carry.
Other features I like include:The zipper front that allows you access to the main ruck sack compartment w/o having to open the top. This way you can get to items on the bottom of the pack without having to remove the others on top. Another feature is the removable water bladder holder that can be used as a daypack/hydration pack when you don't want to take your full pack on a small jaunt. I also like the water botlle holder that is stowable and has a shockcord(like the trekking pole holders) that helps keep the bottle from falling out.
The quality of this pack is unreal, the ripstop holds up to branches, the zippers are strong with good loop pulls. All the materials used seem to be of high quality and were put together very well. I look forward to many adventures with this pack as I feel it will last me quite a while. It will help motivate me to go further and tackle harder, longer trails and stay out for more nights now that I can carry everything I need and with such ease.
I highly recommend this pack to anyone and everyone, I don't know what else someone could ask for from a backpack. Great job Gregory!
such a wonderful area we camped in. beautiful views of everything! best night we sent in Oregon! such wonderful people as well!
We arrived at Mazama Campground after being on the road for almost 8 hours, the last 4 of which were through the seemingly endless sagebrush country on the road through Christmas Valley. We were tired, ready to get out, and full of the anticipation of Crater Lake.
We entered from the South. Immediately upon passing through the official gate, we took a right and landed at Mazama village. Check-in is at a little kiosk beside the camper store. We had reserved four nights for a tent site and somehow, one of these factors rendered us as “blue”. We were instructed to drive around the campground until we found an unoccupied site with a blue stripe on the post. Once we found our perfect spot in the woods, we were able to set up and no further communication was required. As a system, this has both its pros and cons. It is, in fact, really nice to drive around and scout out some sites before settling in. We passed a couple before finding a spot that would fit our 10X14 tent and had the right trees for 2 hammocks, while also feeling a little spacious. On the other hand, we arrived at 4 pm and sites were already, mostly, claimed. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to find an open site if arriving in the evening in a busy, let alone having the opportunity to choose a favorable one. The system definitely favors campers that can arrive closer to noon rather than after dinner. The colored post distribution for site type will help the first-come, first-serve camper have excellent site choices despite not having a reservation (assuming they arrive earlier in the day than later). We also noticed that during our stay, the campground almost emptied out daily due to the large volume of one-night campers.
When it comes down to it, I prefer the backcountry. But compared to other major National Parks like Yellowstone, I found more of the spaces than not to be far more roomy and semi-private even at full campground capacity. A few have fewer trees and feel a little more cramped.
We camped in late June 2018, and the water faucets were turned on throughout the campground. They were placed every 6-8 sites. There appear to be a couple bathrooms in each loop. The amphitheater is situated between the E and D loops. That can be convenient if you like the evening ranger programs. If on the other hand, you prefer to be away from the foot traffic at night, find another loop. Overall the campground is pretty quiet. I’ve noticed some of the E sites at least (and I think many if the loops), back up to a large and beautiful canyon right along the Annie Creek/Spring trail. What a view!
There are showers in the village. My first time in, I put in my 3 quarters and didn’t take more than the 4 minutes allotted, because the trickle coming out of the shower-head was rather chilly. The second shower was hot and my third was warmish. The food prices at Annie’s cafe are not unreasonable and the food was pretty good. The camp store has limited groceries, so come prepared. I’ve added photos of the groceries sold, additionally there are some snack foods, camping gear, and gift items. Grocery-wise, it is equivalent to a gas station convenience store. They sell gas, ice and wood: remember to buy where you burn! There is also a small laundromat with a charging station for electronics. The laundromat is a busy place and shared by Pacific Crest hikers with terrific stories to tell!
All in the campground is a solid place to camp, and the many mosquitoes will keep you company on the cold Crater mornings. The reason we came here, however, is the lake. Arriving to the rim for the first time was jaw dropping. The scale of Crater Lake can’t be related in photos. We took a morning drive around the rim and were awestruck by the views of snow capped mountains in the far distance on the left, and the deep, sparkling, blue lake to our right.
The park isn’t in full swing even as late as the last week of June. It meant for us, that the park wasn’t very crowded at all. I’m fact, setting out in the morning hours left us feeling like we had the park to ourselves. It also means that some services may not be available such as the boat tours. While they are supposed to be operational, having only just turned them on for the year, they also discovered that they had mechanical problems. We lucked out, and one was fixed in time to take a standard tour. We had dearly hoped to hike on Wizard Island, but alas, it gives us an excuse to come back. The views fr m Garfield Peak were something else.
The weather can be cold; there are still snow patches, and we were told it snowed the week before we came. I believe June begins with a park covered in at least a few inches of snow, and gradually transforms to the July, mountain-summer loveliness.
All in all, we loved our visit and it is on our “must see again” list.
The grounds are beautiful and well kept, and of course… CRATER LAKE. But you're nowhere near the lake and it's a hike/drive to do ANYTHING. I'd recommend the lodge if your heart is set on staying at Crater Lake, or any of the campgrounds at nearby Diamond Lake.
On the plus side, it is very quiet and peaceful.
This is a great place to stay to explore around Crater Lake.
I stopped here when traveling to see Crater Lake and couldnt be happier with the place. It is right before the entrance on the south entrance making it very easy to catch a late sunset or early sunrise if you plan. The campground is easy to find, its right off the road and is very well maintained. The grounds are nice and have all the needed amenities that you would need camping.
Besides being the only National Park in the state of Oregon, Crater Lake is an amazing stop along the PCT. On our month long trek across Oregon, my husband, dog, and I made sure that we spent at least one day here. The best part was that we had friends join us for a great time. There are a variety of camping options available including paid, reserved site camping for tents, trailers, or RVs, private cabins, as well as a separate area for hikers and bikers (bicyclists) who do not have a motor vehicle. It definitely fills up quickly in the summertime so be sure to reserve early as you may not have any luck with day-of walkups. The campground is about 2 miles from the PCT intersection so you can either walk along the road or try your luck at hitchhiking in.
The campground is located right inside the park and has a nice base area. There is a formal restaurant with gift shop in one building then about 100 yards away is a second building with a general store, showers/bathrooms/laundry, and camping check-in. The second building is where hikers pick up their resupply packages so there are always a bunch of them hanging around outside. The general store has pretty much everything you may need and there is a free water refill station right outside so be sure to bring fill up containers as I don't believe they sell individual bottles of water. This is also where you can catch a trolley up to the crater.
The actual camp sites are divided into numbered loops and when you reserve you don't reserve individual spots. You get your spot once you check in (and the person who actually make the reservation is the only person who can check in) so it is a mix of first come, first served and reserved camping. In any case, my friend got a great spot that was near a bath house (flushing toilets but the showers were locked). Since it is a big campground, it would take about 5 minutes to walk from our site to the general store (near the only spot for wi-fi which is paid only).
Our site was tent only and allowed for two cars. You could easily fit 2 (if not one more) tents in the spot. It was well equipped with a table, fire pit, and bear box all in good condition. There were a lot of trees which allowed for hammocks and provided some privacy between the spots. The mosquitoes weren't horrible but they were definitely a nuisance, especially at dawn and dusk, so be sure to bring your deet or other bug repellent if staying in July or early season.
Overall, the camp ground is definitely worth the cost and it gives you great access to one of Oregon's gems.