Can You Swim In Crater Lake 2022? Things You Should Know

Can You Swim In Crater Lake 2022? Things You Should Know

Crater Lake is a caldera lake in the western United States, located in south-central Oregon. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity.

So, Can you swim in Crater Lake?

Let’s be with Tavik to get to know if you are able to dive into this wonderful place through this blog post.

Can You Swim In Crater Lake?

The short answer is yes. However, there is only one safe place to swim in Crater Lake National park. It is the Cleetwood Cove Trail that opens in the middle to late June.

Cleetwood Trail is approximately one mile long and descends nearly 700 feet to the lakeshore. The trail ends at the shoreline, so visitors are welcome to take a dip in the lake. Crater Lake is steep and deep, so there’s no other way to get in.

Keep reading our post for more helpful information about Crater Lake.

About Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park


Crater Lake can be found in southern Oregon, just 1.5 hours northeast of Medford or 2 hours southwest of Bend.

Crater Lake formed more than 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama, a volcano at 12,000 feet, erupted. The volcano then fell. Mount Mazama is part of the Cascade Mountain Range which includes thirteen other volcanoes from Mount Rainier, Washington, to Mount Shasta, California.

The Junior Ranger program is a great way to travel to a national park as a child. We learned about the legend behind the lake’s creation from the Makalak native Makalaks.

They believed there was a battle between Llao (the spirit of the below world) and Skell (the spirit of the above world). Skell drove Llao into the Below-World and then collapsed Mount Mazama in order to trap him. Skell then filled the volcano with water to cover it.

Crater Lake National Park was created in 1902. It is the deepest lake in America, with a maximum depth of 1,943 feet. It is fed by only rain and snow, which is why it is so clear and blue. It is the largest body of clean and clear water in the world. It is also Oregon’s only national park.

Weather at Crater Lake

Crater Lake, which averages 43 feet of fluffy snow per year, is one of the snowiest places in the United States. You can only go for a swim here during the extreme winter, which is usually between July and September.

July and August’s average highs reach 70 degrees F, September is typically in the mid-60s, and October is back to the 50s.

Crater Lake Water Temperature

Crater lake’s surface water temperature is surprisingly mild for a lake fed by snowmelt. Although it is warmer than the beaches in the Bay Area, and the water temperature is still quite warm, I find it very cold in just a swimsuit.

The water is colder as you descend. 38 degrees F is the average temperature at 300 feet (but that’s only what matters.

Jumping is the best way to get in, even if you don’t test the water first.

Crater Lake is not prone to freezing in winter, despite the snowfall and weather conditions. According to the National Park Service, the last complete surface freeze occurred in 1949. The 95% freeze in 1985 was close enough to make it possible again.

The Cleetwood Cove Trail

swimming in crater lake

What Should You Bring on the Cleetwood Cove Trail?

Water: Before you go, make sure to refill your water bottle. This Nalgene bottle is something I take everywhere. We also brought a mini-filter to fill our water bottles at the bottom. We were able to try the best lake water anywhere (even though it is pretty clean for a lake, it is still best to filter).

Hiking shoes: Lightweight and comfortable hiking shoes are the best. The lens is my favorite hiking shoe. They are comfortable and won’t pinch your toes. This is a complete review of some of my favorite minimalist hiking boots.

Mineral sunscreen: Keep harmful chemicals out of the lake and protect your skin with a mineral sun blocker

Towel and swimsuit: You can either wear your suit down or change after you reach the bottom. It’s impossible to change the areas, so I changed them under my towel. This microfiber towel is perfect for traveling. You’ll likely want to dry it off afterward.

Warm and dry clothes are essential for hiking back up.

What Not To Bring

The National Park Service takes great care to preserve the lake’s clarity and prevent the introduction of invasive species. They have banned almost everything from Crater Lake except you and your swimsuit. There are no goggles, snorkels or fins, no life jackets or other flotation devices.

Hiking the Cleetwood Cove Trail

Here’s how to actually get to the water. Parking is available at the Cleetwood Cove Trailhead. If you have any questions, there are bathrooms available.

Cleetwood Cove Trail runs 1.1 miles in each direction, which is 2.2 mi roundtrip. The elevation from the lake’s rim to the shore is 700ft. 65 flights of stairs are required to compensate for the elevation loss or gain on the return trip.

There are a lot of switchbacks that lead to the bottom. Although it seems not too steep going down, I felt it when I came back up. There are several benches along the trail that you can stop at to take a breather and admire the great blue water from the top. The trail is shaded by trees, so it’s cool even on a hot day.

No pets are allowed on this trail or in the Crater Lake water.

Crater Lake: Where Can You Go Swimming or Cliff Jumping

crater lake swimming

There are a few places to go in the water once you reach Crater lake’s shoreline. You have two options: you can either go down to the boat dock or climb up the rocks to swim in slowly.

I recommend that you continue hiking along the shore, past the bathrooms, to reach an overlook that offers great cliff jumping spots. Because I had seen someone jump before, I was able to gauge the depth of the water.

Although the water was a little choppy from the wind, you can still estimate the depth of the water on calmer days. However, it is always better to double-check! The jump at this spot is approximately 30 feet. It’s fun but not too scary.

Wizard Island Boat Tours

Wizard Island is a cinder cone island that appears on the west side of Crater lake. You can spot it from the rim drive. However, if you wish to see the island close to and explore it, you can go on a boat tour.

You will need to follow the Cleetwood Cove Trail from the boat dock to the trailhead to take a boat trip.

Two boat tours are available at Crater Lake.

Standard Lake Cruise: A two-hour cruise that circles the lake’s perimeter. It usually runs from the beginning of July to the middle of September. This tour gives you a close-up view of Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. The tour is $44 for adults and $30 for children 3-12 years old. Children under 2 years old are not allowed.

Wizard Island Tour: This tour takes about five hours and includes a lake cruise and a stop at Wizard Island for three hours. You can either swim around the island or follow the trail to the top of the cinder cone.

  • The tour runs from July to September. The tour departs twice daily at 9:45 and 12:45. The tour costs $55 per adult and $37 per child ages 3-12. No children under 2 years old are allowed.


Now you know you can swim and even jump in the beautiful Crater lake. Let’s plan with your family and friends for the most exciting trip when the summer is comming.

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