Crater Lake’s Rim Drive will be carfree for first time this weekend only

Crater Lake’s Rim Drive will be carfree for first time this weekend only

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In a nod to bicycling and walking, this weekend cars, trucks, buses, RVs and all motorized transportation will be prohibited from Crater Lake’s Rim Drive.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Travel Oregon has negotiated a historic breakthrough for bicycling and walking: An agreement with the National Parks Service to prohibit cars and all motorized vehicles on Crater Lake’s Rim Drive for an entire day.

The deal has been percolating for years among high profile bicycle advocates like State Parks Commissioner and former owner of Bike Gallery stores Jay Graves and the non-profit Cycle Oregon. This year, given the early snowmelt, Travel Oregon seized on a window of opportunity to finally propose the idea and NPS has accepted. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio was also instrumental in making this happen.

Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman announced the agreement late today. The plan is to open East Rim Drive to bicycling and walking only this weekend (June 22nd and 23rd). Here’s more from Ackerman:

“The early snowmelt at Crater Lake gives us a window to create a nationally unique opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike around the lake and, essentially, have it all to yourself.”

Congressman DeFazio says, “I have encouraged the National Park Service to provide this kind of opportunity at Crater Lake for several years. I applaud their willingness to allow this kind of use this weekend, giving Oregonians a great chance to experience the park in a different way.”

Here are more official details:

Under the plan, East Rim Drive Road will be open to non-motorized vehicles only (except for administrative and emergency vehicles) from North Junction around the East Rim of Crater Lake all the way to the intersection at Crater Lake National Park Headquarters and the Steel Visitors Center. Hwy 62 through the south end of the park, West Rim Drive and the North Entrance Road will be open to vehicles. Regular parking areas will be open, but generally fill up quickly.

Rim Drive is a legendary, 33-mile loop that circumnavigates the lake. The road was designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Place in 2008.

I had the pleasure of riding Rim Drive on Cycle Oregon 2007 and managed to snap a few photos…

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This is a big deal! Too bad it’s such late notice but I hope many people take advantage of this opportunity. I also hope this becomes a regular occurrence.

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