Dangers In Crater Lake National Park

Oregon’s Crater Lake is a caldera created by the collapse of a volcano 7,700 years ago. The lake and surrounding area is preserved as Crater Lake National Park. Visitors may hike, boat, drive, ski and snowshoe through the wilderness, but hazards exist.

Crater Lake in southern Oregon


Faults run throughout the area which could cause damaging earthquakes, rockfalls and landslides. Such disruptions could cause waves and flooding in the lake and around.


Beneath Crater Lake lie hydrothermal vents; future volcanic activity is possible. Some have occurred on the lake floor. If these occur at shallow levels, it could cause explosions of rock and ash.


From June through the middle of September, storms bring thunder, lightening and high winds. Because of the high elevation, lightening strikes are likely, making the open water and exposed ridges unsafe.


Crater Lake National Park is a popular winter sports spot for skiers and snowshoers, but un-maintained snow conditions may cause avalanches. Check with rangers who monitor potentially dangerous areas.

Fun Fact

The Klamath Indians have long used Crater Lake as a site for spirit quests that sought out powerful and dangerous supernatural beings they believed resided in the lake.

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