Crater Lake: Ride Around The Rim!

30 Sep

Crater Lake could possibly be one of my favorite places in Oregon. I have been a few times. I haven’t been in about 7 years. It is sort of a trek to get there from Portland. I am astonished with how many people I talk to who have never been. It blows my mind!!

One of my 2013 Goals was to ride the rim. It never happened but when I heard they were doing 2 non-vehicle days in September. I quickly asked Erica if her and Nik would be interested in going down and riding. We planned for it. Here it is September!! (Dan was supposed to go but he hurt his back and decided against it) 😦

Last week the forecast was seriously crap-ola for Saturday’s big ride. We almost bagged it but decided to go even if the weather was indeed going to be bad! The weather gods were with us and it was going to be cold/sunny/cloudy! That certainly beats the rain!

We arrived last Friday night. We stayed in Mazama Village. (3 miles South of the rim) Stayed in the cabins. They were perfect! Definitely cheaper than the lodge. We got up Saturday morning to a “crisp” 37 degrees. Holy smokes it was cold. We decided to go have breakfast and let it “warm-up” a bit before we started our adventure!! We were in no real hurry so we took our time getting ready.

At noon we opted to just ride to the rim, instead of driving the 3 miles and parking, it worked out perfect.

We were off.

The climbing began immediately. It was gradual until we actually got to the rim. Once we hit the rim it was 4 miles of switchbacks to get us to our first look of the lake. Everything that I read about riding the rim was to start at the visitors center(right at the junction of the west/east rim) and ride clockwise.

We made it. Rim Village. It was Erica and Nik’s first time to the lake so it was that much more special!!


The entire East rim (24 miles) was closed down to ONLY CYCLISTS. What a treat. It was so great to just ride in the middle of the road and not have to watch for cars!

Discovery Point.

Grouse Hill/Steel Bay Overlook.



Grotto Cove.


Don't we look cute without our helmets and sunglasses?

Don’t we look cute without our helmets and sunglasses?

Phantom Ship Overlook


What.A.Ride!! Absolutely gorgeous. We had so much fun!! This ride really is no joke but it was definitely do-able. We saw lots of people on mountain bikes and hybrids. The lake is at 6000 ft elevation. That already makes it difficult. To make it even more difficult, we climbed 4300 feet in 40 miles. We knew it would be hard. We stopped a bunch of times(obviously) and had lots of snacks(which we didn’t really eat because we had such a big breakfast)!!



Would I do it again? Probably not. It is a long drive to get there and it was more of a bucket list item. Would I recommend it? Absolutely YES!

Have you been to Crater Lake? What is your favorite National Park?

17 Responses to “Crater Lake: Ride Around The Rim!”

  1. Kecia October 1, 2014 at 5:14 AM #

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! I wish I lived closer and could have taken part in this as well.

  2. The Padre October 1, 2014 at 7:33 AM #

    Epic!! Nothing like riding a bike along a closed road to traffic!! Thank you so much for posting these amazing photos from around Crater Lake. I can only imagine how quite & claiming this day must have been for all of you. The smiles are wonderful & this event must be added to my bucket list. Cheers

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats October 6, 2014 at 9:18 PM #

      It was amazing! It was really a treat to be able to ride with no traffic! What a difference it makes!!

  3. katielookingforward October 1, 2014 at 7:54 AM #

    I have been to crater lake and would love to ride the rim!!! I have relatives in Portland, so I might have to make a visit!

  4. Kimberly @ Healthy Strides October 1, 2014 at 8:59 AM #

    What an amazing weekend! Your photos are stunning. It makes me want to go to the Pac NW now. I am so glad you got to experience this.

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats October 6, 2014 at 9:15 PM #

      Pacific NW is truly amazing! You should bring your family or just come by yourself! πŸ™‚

  5. Kristen October 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM #

    This is definitely on my list for next year. Crater Lake is only a 90 minute drive from Bend, so why I have never done this is beyond me. Beautiful photos. It looks like you all had a fabulous time!

  6. Change of Pace October 2, 2014 at 5:19 AM #

    Looks absolutely breathtaking!! (And I adore your bike jersey:) ) Hopefully they continue to close the road each year- I bet it’ll become super popular!
    I’ve never been to Crater Lake but would love to go. This would be the perfect excuse!
    My favourite national parks are in Canada- Jasper and Kootenay!!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats October 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM #

      It is so amazing! I just love it! I think they close it every year and once or twice in the spring too. It was just knew to us! πŸ™‚
      Do you have to pay to get into your national parks? When I was in New Zealand they did not charge! Of course all the USA ones do!

      • Change of Pace October 14, 2014 at 8:07 PM #

        Yes- there’s a fee, but if you buy an annual pass it’s super cheap and you can go to any!
        The big difference I’ve noticed between Canadian and American National Parks is dogs! They’re allowed in all the Canadian ones, but I don’t think they’re allowed in many American ones.

  7. erin October 4, 2014 at 7:19 AM #

    Wow! Stunning! Definitely adding that to my bucket list (can you believe I’ve never been to Oregon?! Washington a zillion times, but never there). And, so cool the road was closed to traffic… makes it an even better ride!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats October 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM #

      You would have died! It is so amazing!! I love it there! Such a treat to cycle with no traffic. Even organized century rides you are with traffic!

  8. Lee @ Tri*Inspired*Life October 7, 2014 at 6:45 AM #

    Really cool ride and amazing photos! Even though logistics make it so you probably won’t ride it again, I think it is great to check something off your bucket list! Doing something, just for the adventure, is a big part of life!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats October 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM #

      Yes!! I agree! I love adventures! This certainly was one! It doesn’t take much for someone to talk me into something so it will probably end up being a yearly trip! πŸ™‚

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