Are the National Parks in Oregon Worth Visiting?

When you plan a road trip out West to visit the national parks, you likely want to see Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Zion.

Other favorites include Arches, Joshua Tree, and Grand Tetons. But don’t sleep in the Oregon national parks.

Oregon has 10 protected areas within the National Park System but only one national park: Crater Lake. But others have varying designations. The federal government preserves many of these locations because of their historical value.

Crater Lake National Park is the most visited park in Oregon. In 2021, the park welcomed  647,751 visitors who witnessed the beauty and scientific importance of the land.

Scientists explain that because no streams or rivers feed the lake, it’s amazingly clear, with visibility up to 100 feet and sunlight reaching about 400 feet in some parts of the lake.

While visiting Crater Lake National Park, take a scenic drive along Rim Drive. This 33-mile road provides stunning views of the lake, forests, and meadows.

Things You Can’t Miss

Cleetwood Cove Trail is about 2.2 miles and gives hikers the only legal access to the shore of Crater Lake. But you can’t bring pets on this trail.

Watchman Peak Trail is about 1.6 miles and is very busy at sunset. The  360-degree views across the lake and surrounding landscape make this one of the most crowded trails. 

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