While Crater Lake is obviously the star attraction of Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake National Park, there are quite a few cool things to check out while visiting the park besides the more than 30 spectacular scenic viewpoints around the lake like the Sinnott Memorial Overlook.
There are two majestic waterfalls, Plaikni Falls and Vidae Falls, the historic Crater Lake Lodge that has a museum on the ground floor, and interesting volcanic rock formations like fossilized steam vents, a medieval Pumice Castle, and a collection of fossil fumeroles called Pinnacles.
Our very last activity in Crater Lake National Park was walking the Godfrey Glen Loop Trail to check out more volcanic formations.
Godfrey Glen is lined with columnar ash formations that were formed when trapped gases pushed their way up through volcanic ash deposits from the eruption of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago.
As the gases moved upward, the surrounding ash was fused into a concrete-like hard cast with a hollow core sort of like a chimney. Thousands of years of erosion has worn away the softer surrounding material and exposed iconic columnar indentations in the sheer cliff and towering pinnacles.
Godfrey Glen is named after William C. Godfrey, a Chief Ranger who lost his life in a snow storm near the south entrance of Crater Lake National Park in 1930.
Godfrey Glen Loop
Godfrey Glen Loop Trail is an easy, 1.0 mile loop trail that traverses an old growth mountain hemlock and Shasta red fir forest on the edge of Munson Creek Canyon and Annie Creek Canyon.
- The south half of the trail follows the edge of Munson Creek Canyon through old growth forest, and offers views of Godfrey Glen, sheer wall of scoria eroded into columns, pinnacles, and Munson Creek flowing into Annie Creek.
- The west half of the trail follows the edge of Annie Creek Canyon and crosses a small tributary that pours into Annie Creek.
Know Before You Go
- Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only national park, does not have a physical street address, so it can be hard to locate us using GPS. We made the historic Crater Lake Lodge our first stop, which is located at 565 Rim Drive, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97604.
- Godfrey Glen Loop Trail is an easy, hard-packed, 1.0 mile loop trail that is accessible to people in wheelchairs with assistance. It is typically closed in the winter due to snowfall.
- The trailhead is accessed from a turnout off the Munson Valley Road, 2.25 miles south of Crater Lake Park Headquarters. Here you can pickup a trail guide.
- Good for seven days, admissions fees are $30.00/vehicle, $25.00/motorcycle in the summer and $15.00/motorcycle in the winter, and $15.00/pedestrian or bicycle.
- The national park is open year-round, 24 hours a day but many of the park’s roads, trails, and facilities are closed seasonally.
- During periods of rain and snow, Crater Lake is often hidden by clouds — it is completely invisible about 50% of the time in the winter!
- Summers at Crater Lake are short but typically sunny. July, August, and September are your best bets for warm, dry weather. However, it can snow any day of the year.
- The park’s North Entrance is closed for about seven months each year. It closes at the first snowfall or on November 1, whichever comes first and reopens in early to mid-summer. The park’s South Entrance and West Entrance are open year-round. We visited the park in late July and the roads had only been open for a week!
- Dogs on-leash are permitted only in developed park areas, Mazama Village, and Lost Creek Campground. Dogs are not permitted on any trails or in undeveloped areas.