We only had a couple hours to explore Crater Lake National Park on our family vacation road trip across the country, but I did the research for where to stay near Crater Lake in case our trip ended up off-schedule. I’d rather share than waste the work so it’s a bonus for you!
Once we arrived at Crater Lake we wished we had more time to visit. Alas, when you’ve plotted out a cross-country road trip of almost 7,000 miles with only 20 days to complete it, there is only so much you can see and do. My recommendation is to take your trip through Oregon slower than we did and spend at least one night near Crater Lake. Grab our Crater Lake Family Travel Guide or go check out this article on things to do at Crater Lake, but here are some overnight stay options.
Crater Lake Camping
I haven’t quite gotten up the nerve to suggest FREE backcountry camping to my family (Hello! No bathrooms!) but there are quite a few options for backcountry camping both in summer and winter at Crater Lake. Make sure you check out the website to see what you need to do to get a backcountry camping permit and what the guidelines are depending on the season you want to camp. Winter is the only time you are allowed to camp along the rim or anywhere that has a lakeview.
The national parks service has a great resource for how to prepare for backcountry camping. Be sure to check it out before trying it.
Camping is always the most budget-friendly option when you travel, and a stay at one of Crater Lakes’ campgrounds will cost between $5-$31. This may be the option that allows you to enjoy a family vacation or it may allow more room in your budget for activities and good food (I’ll take a night or 2 camping for that. How about you?)
There are two established campgrounds at Crater Lake. Mazama Campground is accessible for RVs and tents from June to September and Lost Creek Campground is accessible for tents from July to October. There are also campgrounds outside the park that you can stay at.
Crater Lake Hotels
Never fear, if you can’t handle camping, which is a-okay, there are two motel options – Crater Lake Lodge and the Cabins at Mazama Village. Seriously! If you can make the budget happen, there’s zero guilt in just staying in a hotel. It’s so much less work. And taking a family vacation with kids is already work. Start planning ahead of time so you can fully enjoy your trip and be sure to check out my tips for saving money on lodging while on a road trip.
Click the images below to go directly to our Crater Lake Family Travel Guide or list of things to do at Crater Lake.