Snow parks (spelled and signed as Sno Parks) can be a great place to camp, away from the main road. Crater Lake National Park has limited campground camping, and no dispersed camping is allowed inside the park. We found inviting Sno Parks for camping, both coming into Crater Lake from the south, and going out to the north.
Camping south of Crater Lake National Park
Annie Creek Sno Park is on Hwy 62 at the south end of the park entrance. We found this pretty spot in between Ft. Klamath, and a sign for Ponderosa in the Winema National Forest. The Sno Park has several primitive campsites along the creek, some with fire rings. Camping is in the forest of trees following the creek bed. We found the tall pines too dense for stargazing. Be sure to pull over on Hwy 62 to see Annie Falls, in a deep gorge of pinnacle formations, just north of the Sno Park.
Camping during big forest fires
My photos look “smoky” because we camped there during some terrible fires in the area; stretching from the Carr Fire in Redding, CA clear to the Canadian border with wildfires in British Columbia. Sadly, due to heavy smoke, we saw little of the water at Crater Lake, during our visit in August.
Dispersed camping north of Crater Lake National Park
The Diamond Lake area afforded nice dispersed camping, 5 miles north of the National Park on Highway 138. There are several campgrounds surrounding the lake. We chose a paved road leading to a ski run /lift, where we could have easily boondocked.
However, we chose to follow a logging road to an even quieter, more secluded area. You can easily get lost on in this network of dirt roads in heavy forest. We discovered there is NO cell reception, therefore no Google maps. Take precautions, if you venture into that area.
The Diamond Lake Resort Café served up a great breakfast in a nostalgic venue, with a lovely view of the lake. The resort offers fishing and boat rentals there as well. You can get directions and more info on their website.
We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.” ― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire