Crater Lake official: Make carfree Rim Drive an annual event – UPDATED

Crater Lake official: Make carfree Rim Drive an annual event – UPDATED

Carl Larson drove down from Portland
to take advantage of a carfree Rim Drive.
(Photo: Emily Wilson)

The legendary Rim Drive around Crater Lake was officially carfree for the first time ever this past weekend. And even though the official announcement gave folks just a few days notice, it appears many people showed up to ride one of the most scenic roads in America in total silence and comfort.

Yesterday we got an email from Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman. He shared that “a large number of cyclists” took advantage of this rare opportunity. Ackerman also said he’d like to expand the carfree designation in future years.

“We are very much interested in making this an annual event,” Ackerman wrote, “and will contemplate making it a longer opportunity if possible.”

According to Ackerman, his ability to allow bicycles only on Rim Drive is up to Mother Nature. That being said, he sounds very positive about bicycling and I won’t be surprised if Travel Oregon, Cycle Oregon and the National Parks Service announce more robust carfree riding opportunities in the future.

I leave you with a final paragraph from Ackerman’s email:

“Bicycle use fits well into our sustainability and emission reduction goals for the park. We support bicyclists as park and environment friendly users. We try to accommodate their needs in any way possible while providing for their safety and that of other roadway users. I hope that we can continue to work together to provide a variety of ways for bikers to enjoy and experience Crater Lake.”

Were you able to do the ride? How was it?

UPDATE: As you can read via her comment below, Kristin Dahl with Travel Oregon says carfree Saturday was Crater Lake’s busiest day of the year so far.

UPDATE #2, 6/26: Readers have send in photos and notes from their ride…

Reader Gretchin Lair sent in the photos below and said she plans to also send them to Travel Oregon, Cycle Oregon, Congressman Peter DeFazio and Craig Ackerman to thank them for the opportunity…

Reader Sally Hunt sent in the photos below and wrote:

“I heard about the East Rim Dr. being open from your website and scrambled to get over there with my husband on Saturday. I ended up riding the whole rim (hills & more hills!) at age 53 (and with no spandex). It was fantastic to be riding most of that without cars. While on the ride I saw a “fire rainbow” over Mt Scott (attached photo)–something I’d never seen before.

I hope this becomes an annual event–there were a LOT of cyclists there Saturday, many that biked only on the car-free road. Just awesome.”

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