Bike around Crater Lake

Oregon Rim Village Visitor Center, Crater Lake NP

  • Activities:

    Cycling, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Distance: 40 miles total. Elevation gain: 5,200 ft. Beautiful views of Crater Lake. Well maintained roads for cycling. Wild Life.

I forgot how large Crater Lake was. Wikipedia said it was only 6 miles in diameter, multiply X 3.14 or C = πd and boom its only 18.84 miles around, that's cake, or pie. Imaging a NASCAR track with a pond in the middle.

WRONG, hindsight being 20/20, dramatic landscape rarely equates to flat, cycle friendly roads. It was really around 40 miles, 5,200 ft elevation gain and about 7,900 ft elevation at our highest peak, its no Everest "Into Thin Air" story but my lungs didn't know that. Don't check my Strava, I never exaggerate these kinds of things.

Dramatic landscape does however translate to sheer cliffs and amazing photo opportunities which I capitalized on most of the time, after all I didn't self inflict carrying an extra 20 lbs of camera gear around the lake for nothing. Long assents lead to grand descents, so four wide we raced down every road hooting and hollering like a bunch of squawking chimps.

See entire trip description here.

Pack List

  • Bicycle
  • Backpack or some way to carry food and water
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Bike tool and patch kit
  • Positive Vibes
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Reviews

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Seeing Crater Lake by bike is infinitely better than driving around the lake in a car. The slower pace lets you really take in the scenery, and adds an element of having had to work for those views. The ride isn't easy, but it shouldn't be particularly challenging for people who ride hills regularly - the biggest change is the altitude. There's also an option to add on 10 miles and 1,300 feet of gain by taking the spur out to the Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are mildly interesting, but the climb back to Rim Drive will grab your attention! Also, check out the park's car-free days in September for an even better experience. East Rim Drive is closed to cars, tons of cyclists come out to ride, and the park hosts aid stations around the rim.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Colton Jacobs

Seattle based outdoor lifestyle, and action sports photographer.

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