If you’re looking for a fall getaway to get into nature, a drive to Crater Lake in the Klamath Falls area of Oregon might be a good choice, although you may want to bring snow gear. Crater Lake received an early snowfall on Tuesday night.
Marsha McCabe, spokeswoman for the national park, reports about 8-inches of snow fell into the Crater Lake area on Tuesday night. Another one to three inches of snow is expected to fall again on Wednesday.
Snowfall in the park is unusual for September and if there is snow, the ground normally sees a light dusting at this time of year.
McCabe reports the north entrance is closed for the next few days due to the snow, but is scheduled to reopen through the weekend. Weather is expected to be nice and the West Rim Drive entrance will reopen as the weather creates a safer environment for visitors.
Views of Crater Lake are breathtaking when the skies are clear. The West Rim entrance on the north side of the park allows visitors to see the lake without obstruction. As storms hit the Crater Lake area, the lake is visible about 80% of the time. Clouds tend to drop visibility to about 50%.
Since Crater Lake resides along the backbone of the Cascades, the higher elevations tend to give the park cool summers and wet winters, with heavier snowfall. While storms invade the park, the crest of the mountains supplies a barrier to hold off frontal systems that come from the north Pacific coast.
Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902. Even with the beautiful scenery around Oregon, Crater Lake is the only national park in the state and is the fifth oldest national park in the U.S.
Throughout the history of Crater Lake national park, the average snowfall is known to be 533 inches. By early spring, the ground will be covered with ten to fifteen feet of the white stuff. In the winter of 1932, Crater Lake and the Cascade Mountains still hold the record for the deepest snowfall in a season, at 879 inches. Crater Lake set a state record in 1950, for the deepest snowfall in a single calendar year, with a reading of 903 inches.
Park headquarters reports the most snow recorded on the ground was on April 3, 1983. The depth that year was 21 feet of snow. A typical winter can range from a high temperature of 35 degrees to a low overnight of 19 degrees.