Crater Lake Wilderness

Crater Lake

Beyond the Caldera

Crater Lake and its surrounding wildlands have inspired people for generations, as it provides the postcard image encapsulating Oregon's natural beauty, heritage and commitment to conservation.

Every year, Crater Lake National Park attracts half a million visitors who come to gaze into its pure, clean water, to marvel at its unique geology, and to explore its rugged backcountry, first preserved in 1902.

Find out more about the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal in this fact sheet.

But the natural beauty of Crater Lake extends far beyond Wizard Island and the caldera. It includes spectacular roadless lands inside and outside of the official boundaries of the park, including the Pumice Desert, the craggy spires and wild forests of Mount Thielsen, the rugged backcountry of Mount Bailey, and the headwaters of the Rogue and Umpqua rivers. Many of these prisine areas are perfect for hikers looking to experience the true beauty and secrets of Crater Lake from the rim and beyond.

Threats

A helicopter tour operator is seeking a permit for flights into the park, over its backcountry, and along the crater rim. The noise pollution from these flights would undoubtedly destroy the quiet of the park, disrupt wildlife, and greatly diminish the experience for the vast majority of park visitors.

In addition, a misguided Forest Service logging project known as Bybee proposes to clearcut forests just west of the park boundary. Miners have also staked a number of claims within the proposed Wilderness along the South Umpqua River, and could do significant, lasting damage to the river system. Unfortunately, there are several other logging projects - D-Bug, Loafer, and Marsh - that all threaten the Crater Lake Wilderness.

Sign up to get more information on the threats to Crater Lake, and what you can do to protect Oregon's only National Park. Additional details are in our plan of action below.

Solution

To combat the misguided logging of the Bybee project and the threat of noisy helicopter flights over the National Park, Wilderness protection is needed. For this effort Oregon Wild has partnered with Umpqua Watersheds, the Crater Lake Institute, and the team at Environment Oregon as well as others.

Wilderness designation is the gold standard when it comes to protecting America's public lands. Conservationists and the National Park Service have long argued Crater Lake and its surrounding wildlands deserve Wilderness status.

Our proposal would protect 500,000 acres both within and outside the Park boundaries. This would create a 90-mile protected corridor of habitat with very few disturbances along the southern Cascades. This corridor will be critical for wildlife as they adjust to climate change. The proposal would not affect any of the existing access roads within the park or the lodge. An interactive map of the proposal can be found below.

Wilderness mean good business! See a list of businesses from all across the state that support the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal.

Take Action

Call Senator Ron Wyden at (503) 326-7525 and encourage him to protect the Crater Lake Wilderness. (or send him an e-mail here).

Map of Proposed Crater Lake Wilderness

Dark Green = Potential Wilderness
Light Green = Already Protected Wilderness
Click here for a pdf map

Oregon Forest Homes

The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal does not include any cabins, homes, or other residences. In addition, there are no "forest homes," otherwise known as Forest Service permit cabins, included in the proposal. If the above map includes any, it is an error and will be fixed. Please notify Wilderness Coordinator Erik Fernandez if this is the case.

For information about hiking opportunities around the Crater Lake area, visit our Secrets of Crater Lake Hiking Page!

Crater Lake under the stars (photo by Ben Canales). Map by Erik Fernandez.