Crater Lake National Park

Rim Drive (Part 1)

The Rim Drive encircles Crater Lake, allowing views of the lake from nearly every angle. We cover this road in three sections. Below is the first part, starting at the south entrance road and continuing to the turnoff for Pinnacles Road. For the other two sections, see Rim Drive Part 2 and Rim Drive Part 3.

Mile 0 – Rim Drive

The Rim Drive begins. If coming from the south, the Rim Drive is a right turn 3.7 miles from the entrance station. Straight ahead is also the Rim Drive, in reverse to the order we cover it. It would begin at the end of Rim Drive Part 3. Turn right to follow this log.

Mile 0.3 – Castle Crest Wildflowers Trail

Castle Crest Wildflower Nature Trail in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

A parking area is on the right for the Castle Crest Wildflower Nature Trail. This short and easy loop trail winds through an area of lush vegetation, and particularly wildflowers in summer. A small stream runs through the area as well. It is a good, quick way to see some of the “other” side of the park, away from the lake. For more on the trail, see Crater Lake Hiking Trails.

Mile 3.0 – Vidae Falls

Vidae Falls in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

A pulloff area on the left allows for the viewing of Vidae Falls. This beautiful cascade is the only easily viewable waterfall in the park.

Mile 4.4 – Sun Notch Viewpoint Trailhead

Sun Notch Viewpoint in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

The road passes by the parking area for the Sun Notch Viewpoint Trail. This short and relatively easy trail climbs up to a breathtaking viewpoint of Crater Lake. For those who came in from the south, this is your first real opportunity to see the lake. See Crater Lake Hiking Trails for more information.

Mile 8.3 – Pinnacles Road

The Pinnacles in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

The Pinnacles Road heads off to the right. This road leads 6.1 miles to an overlook of the Pinnacles and the Pinnacles Trail. The Lost Creek Campground is on the way at 3.2 miles.

The Rim Drive Continues On

For the next section of Rim Drive, from Pinnacles Road to the North Entrance Road, see Rim Drive Part 2.