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A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in October(21 posts)

A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:18 PM
Pretty much every year since I've been riding I've done the full Crater Lake loop. It's a gorgeous ride not long by anyone's standards but it still packs 4000 feet of climbing into 33 miles.

Last year I started 20 miles from the normal start at Park HQ and got in a very enjoyable 75 mile ride. That ride was epic but was spoiled toward the end as smoke from nearby forest fires encroached. I was planning on duplicating it but a few riding buddies wanted to join me on the shorter action packed ride of the loop so I was convinced to do the rim drive only.

This first photo is from the ride last year - looking North across the lake towards at Mt. Thielsen.
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:20 PM
Again, a photo to contrast this year to last. This photo was taken last year 15 minutes and 3 miles mostly descending from the previous photo. This really put a dampener on the last 30 miles of the ride last year.
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:28 PM
Now to the present. Riding in the late morning, my first glimse of the lake is pristine and this side of the rim is shaded from the sun. We chose to take the loop clockwise which gets a lot of the hardest climbs out of the way first but involves 8 miles of riding - mostly uphill -before you get a peak at the lake. I enjoyed it this way and to a local the views to the south were nearly as spectacular. None of the photos turned out because of the lighting, but every major peak between Shasta and the lake is visible and giant Klamath Lake seems to stretch on for ever.

Riding in October, the traffic I'm used to wasn't present. I think we saw maybe 20 cars on the whole loop. It is awesome - feels like the whole park is to yourself.
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:33 PM
Here we are at a viewpoint near the smoky pic shown from last year. Sometimes its hard to get an idea of just how big the lake is from photos.
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:40 PM
At this point the wind has picked up a little bit and the temp is barely 50. The wind actually could have pushed me up the 500 foot climb to this viewpoint.

We're looking towards Thielsen again from the North side of the rim. Mt. Thielsen is on the right with Diamond Lake in between it and Mt. Bailey both 9,000 foot peaks. In the distance just beyond them is Diamond Peak and barely visible in the far distance are the Three Sisters and Mt Bachelor near Bend. In two weeks everything visible in this shot will be white. Again the photo defies the scale. We're at 7,600 feet elevation, a good 2,500 feet above the plateau below.
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Oct 29, 2003 10:49 PM
I hate to close with this photo, but with the descent back to the cars and dropping temps we didn't stop at some of the best spots for photography on the rim. This photo is the same location as before just looking at the endless expanse of forest the continues for 150 miles to the west.

We got in 42 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. We planned on parking outside of the entrance station and saving money. We saved even more this time learning that if we get there at the right time, the rangers might not be there to take the money.

The rim ride is a fantastic ride and short enough for just about any level of rider. It's a bit daunting when you consider that there are no flat spots. Every descent is greeted with a climb (and the opposite is true) and the average grade (up or down) on the rim is 5%. Can't wait til next year. Maybe I'll try it in the spring.
great picturesZvierBoy
Oct 30, 2003 12:10 AM
Thanks for the memories.

I have been there once before. Right after graduation I went on a across the states drive and by a coincidance ended up at Crater Lake. I think of this place as one of the most breathtaking and beautiful ones I have ever seen.

I remeber driving to the rim and thinking: now that would be cool, to ride a bicycle here. 10 years later I got into cycling and I am now contemplating going out west for a week during the next summer.
Great PlaceSkooter
Oct 30, 2003 2:23 AM
This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the country to ride. Crater Lake is an amazing place and well worth the pic's posted you need to see it in person. Thanks Skoots
Just a bit of trivia about crater lake...Asiago
Oct 30, 2003 7:48 AM
Did you know that Crater Lake is the 2nd deepest lake in North America? The deepest being Lake Superior. Now consider the difference in size between the deepest lake and the 2nd deepest lake... Pretty cool...

Nice pics, thanks.

Just a bit of trivia about crater lake...gray8110
Oct 30, 2003 11:48 AM
Actually it's second to Great Slave Lake - but your point stands :)
Just a bit of trivia about crater lake...noveread
Oct 30, 2003 5:47 PM
Really?! I thought it was superior! How about that! Another bit of trivia!

Some more trivia about crater lake...PeterRider
Oct 30, 2003 7:34 PM
Did you know that this is one of the areas with the highest snow fall in the country ? 529 inches of snow in average every year. Think I recall reading somewhere this is the second highest snow fall in US.

NICE PICS! Note to self: "Go there." nmMike P
Oct 30, 2003 4:43 AM
Oct 30, 2003 8:30 AM
What is the car traffic like around the lake? Any times better than others to do it during the day?
Oct 30, 2003 9:22 AM
Traffic is never anything in comparison with some of the big parks but in peak season july thru august it can be full of cars & RV's. This trip in late October, I only saw 20 cars on the 33 miles of the loop.

I prefer to either ride it on a weekday or at the extremes. If you ride just after the rim road has opened in June (usually) or just before it closes (between now & mid November) you'll think you have the place to yourself. I ran into a few groups of cyclists going the other direction - we may have outnumbered cars that day :)
Carrying a camera?gmc
Oct 30, 2003 9:26 AM
Awesome! Been to Crater Lake, but all I ahd time to ride was the road from the campground up to the lodge on the southern rim. Nice climb. Especially for a flatlander - a sea-level flatlander at that!

Not that I'd wow anyone with exciting shots of my home riding area of North Texas - but how do you carry your camera when riding?
Carrying a camera?gray8110
Oct 30, 2003 10:17 AM
I've got a small digital camera that fits in my jersey pocket (Canon S400) on most rides if I bring a camera. On a longer ride just about any camera will fit in a small pack.
If you use a camelbak, I recommend...PeterRider
Oct 30, 2003 12:24 PM
... buying the "commpocket" (7$) that attaches with velcro on the shoulder strap. It's designed for cell-phone, the S400 fits perfectly in it, easy to access, and you don't get sweat in the optics/electronics.

Carrying a camera?CHRoadie
Oct 30, 2003 2:40 PM
I've got a Sony DSC-P9, and I use a Bento Box that sits on the top tube just behind the stem. I lined it with hobby foam (the kind used on remote controlled airplanes to protect the electronics). I was always worried about moisture built-up if I put the camera in my jersey pocket.
Holy moly! I've gotta do that ride. Gorgeous! (nm)PseuZQ
Oct 30, 2003 9:41 AM
re: A Short Ride Report - Crater Lake in Octobergray8110
Nov 2, 2003 2:00 PM
A little follow up here - this is posted a week after the ride. This is a webcam link so if you are looking during daylight hours, I think you will find this photo of Crater Lake from the lodge interesting.