Crater Lake National Park, in partnership with Discover Klamath, will host the fifth annual Ride the Rim days on September 9 and 16, 2016. On these consecutive Saturdays, East Rim Drive from North Junction to Park Headquarters will be closed to motorized vehicles from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for non motorized recreation including biking, hiking, and running.
Superintendent Craig W. Ackerman said, “Ride the Rim has grown in popularity each year. It provides an opportunity to experience East Rim Drive in a unique way, under your own power, whether you’re on a bike or on your own two feet. It is a strenuous endeavor, but the rewards of a slower pace, opportunities for quiet reflection, and healthy, vigorous recreation make it a special experience for many people.”
West Rim Drive will be open for travel, but portions will be unpaved and some pullouts will be inaccessible because of an ongoing road construction project. Park staff recommend that bicyclists avoid riding on West Rim Drive if possible, because of rough road conditions and increased traffic from Ride the Rim participants, shuttles, and other park visitors. It is recommended to take advantage of the Shuttle provided.
Ride the Rim parking is at North Junction, Park Headquarters, and the Picnic Hill area of Rim Village. Participants are encouraged to share rides to help ease parking congestion. The North Entrance Road is projected to open by Saturday morning, September 9th, prior to the beginning of the event.
A free shuttle will transport participants to the start of their Ride the Rim experience or to their vehicles at the end. The shuttle will run between North Junction, Rim Village, and Park Headquarters. This year, the shuttle will not carry bicycles in an effort to accommodate more people. A person or people from each party will need to remain with bicycles while members of their party park or retrieve vehicles. For single riders, there will be a limited bike valet at North Junction and Park Headquarters.
Lost Creek Campground will close on the nights of September 8, 9, 15, and 16 to accommodate volunteers working to support Ride the Rim. Mazama Campground will be open on these days.
The Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek Fires continue to burn in the park. At times, these fires have resulted in smoky conditions with reduced visibility and unhealthy air quality. However, recent rain has improved smoke conditions and tempered fire behavior. After consultation with the team managing the fires and examining the weather forecast, park staff anticipate conditions will be favorable for the event on Saturday. While smoke levels are currently improved and predicted fire behavior suggests smoke will be limited, a shift in wind can change smoke conditions at any time. Participants are encouraged to check weather and smoke forecasts and make decisions based on their personal needs. Smoke information is available at http://www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. Park staff will continue to monitor conditions and will halt activities if needed to ensure visitor safety.
Part of the West Rim Drive is currently unpaved and under construction. These paved areas are unfavorable to cyclists. We recommend doing an out-and-back for those wanting more miles, or taking advantage of the Shuttle on this portion. Some overlooks on West Rim Drive may be closed. Beginning August 28, West Rim Drive will be closed Monday through Friday so that construction can progress as quickly as possible. Also, the North Entrance will be closed during the week for firefighting activiy. West Rim Drive and the North Entrance will reopen on Friday 9/15 at 4 pm. It is expected to have all of West Rim paved by September 16th.
Skies were barely smoky on September 9th for the first Ride the Rim for 2017. We expect the skies to be the same for the 16th. Temperatures were perfect and almost no cloud cover, although quite chilly in the morning.
Lightning on July 24 ignited several fires in and around the park. Smoke from these fires has been causing hazy skies, reduced visibility, and poor air quality on certain days, especially when winds have been blowing from the west. To check the visibility at Rim Village, view our webcam. For more information about smoke levels and air quality at Crater Lake and throughout Oregon, go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.
Crater Lake National Park has issued a Level 1 Evacuation Notice for Mazama Village effective at 1:00 PM, August 27, 2017. The Level 1 notice informs residents and visitors to “be ready” for a potential evacuation of Mazama Village, including employee dormitories and trailer sites, in the event that the Blanket Creek Fire approaches these areas. Current or projected threats from the approaching fire indicate that there may be a need to evacuate in the future, however, there are no mandatory evacuations at this time. Rim Village, park headquarters and other areas in the park are not affected by this Level 1 notice. Visitors are not at risk. To learn more about this notice, click here.
Some trails west of the lake are temporarily closed due to potentially hazardous conditions created by the Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek Fires. These trails are:
- Pacific Crest Trail, from the park boundary to Highway 62 and from the intersection of Dutton Creek Trail north to the North Entrance Road
- Boundary Springs Trail
- All of Bald Crater Loop Trail
- Bert Creek Trail
- Lightning Springs Trail
- Union Peak Trail
- Stuart Falls Trail
- Pumice Flat Trail
Visitors are not at risk.The closures are due to fire activity from the Spruce Lake Fire on the west side of the park and the Blanket Creek Fire in the southwest corner of the park. All other trails in Crater Lake National Park remain open as well as all park entrances, facilities and services.