Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crater Lake's East Rim Drive Car-Free This Weekend Only

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 2:16 PM

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Yes. True story. The National Park Service announced today that this weekend only the scenic East Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park will be closed to cars and open to cyclists, runners and walkers. The deal, which hinged on a low-snow year, was negotiated by Travel Oregon and Cycle Oregon (but has been bandied about for years). U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio was also instrumental in pulling off the car-free weekend.

From the NPS site:

"I am pleased the National Park Service is taking advantage of the unexpected early snowmelt to allow cyclists and pedestrians vehicle-free access to much of the road around Crater Lake," said U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio. "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."

Pack up and go south this weekend. Maybe a strong cyclist/runner/walker turnout will encourage the NPS to make the car-free weekend an annual occurrence. Note, there will be cars on a few of the other park roads (see below).

Under the plan, East Rim Drive will be open to non-motorized vehicles only (except for administrative and emergency vehicles) from the 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.

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