I had a 2 day pre-paid reservation to camp at Mazama Village at Crater Lake and was super excited since it was going to be my first time to the National Park. The trip was in August, which can be an unpredictable time for wild fires in the area, so before we left Portland to make the drive, we checked to make sure that everything was open (cell signals aren't great outside of the I-5 corridor).
By the time we reached the northern entrance to Crater Lake several hours later, we learned that the entrance had been shut down that afternoon because of smoke and fires in the area. We had to turn around and make our way to the Southern Entrance of the park which is at least 2 more hours of driving away. We were not able to get all the way to the Southern Entrance of the park before sunset, so we had to get another campsite for the night. The entrance to the National Park was not manned because it was closed for fire, and there is no cell signal in any of this area, so we could not call the park.
In the morning, we drove the rest of the way to the southern entrance and to the Mazama Village campsite to check in for our second day of camping. The ranger could see our confirmed paid reservation for both days, but they would not allow us to check into our campsite because we had no-showed on the first night. We explained the situation of the park entrance closure and they know that there is no way to contact them from the area, but they would not make any exception. I would have understood if they had given our site away when we had not showed up, however the campground was not full because of the fire situation and the site we had paid for was vacant. They offered us the campsite we had already paid for, but wanted us to pay again in order to occupy it for the night. I was not willing to pay an additional $25.50 on top of the $56 I had already paid and lost to stay at the campground. We left the park and drove somewhere less smokey to visit.
The actual campground looked just fine and had good amenities as you'd expect of a national park, but this was a terrible experience.
Take time to go down to the lake,take the time to go around the lake, so much to see!
Great place to stay at and Crater lake is good to visit
Nice facilities but crater lake is the star of this trip, beautiful year round there is always something to do here even if buried under ten feet of snow!
A great big campground that is first come first serve. The lots are decently sized and for a National park you can find some reminence of privacy. Can't wait to visit again!
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!