SALEM, Ore., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Due to the season's early snowmelt, Crater Lake National Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman today announced an agreement with Travel Oregon and Cycle Oregon to open East Rim Drive circling Crater Lake to non-motorized traffic, providing a rare experience for visitors to enjoy the park on foot or on bike the weekend of June 22 and 23.
"The early snowmelt at Crater Lake gives us a window to create a nationally unique opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike around the lake and, essentially, have it all to yourself," said Ackerman.
Whether hiking or biking, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, from various points around the rim with no vehicle traffic.
"I am pleased the National Park Service is taking advantage of the unexpected early snow melt to allow cyclists and pedestrians vehicle-free access to much of the road around Crater Lake," said U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio. "I have encouraged the National Park Service to provide this kind of opportunity at Crater Lake for several years. I applaud their willingness to allow this kind of use this weekend, giving Oregonians a great chance to experience the park in a different way."
Under the plan, East Rim Drive Road will be open to non-motorized vehicles only (except for administrative and emergency vehicles) from North Junction around the East Rim of Crater Lake all the way to the intersection at Crater Lake National Park Headquarters and the Steel Visitors Center. Hwy 62 through the south end of the park, West Rim Drive and the North Entrance Road will be open to vehicles. Regular parking areas will be open, but generally fill up quickly.
"Oregon is viewed as a spectacular place to have a great cycling experience," said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. "I applaud Craig and his team at Crater Lake National Park for collaborating with Cycle Oregon and Travel Oregon to create this exceptional opportunity for visitors to enjoy this state treasure on foot or on bike."
To learn more about national parks in Oregon and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/oregon.
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors' experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission improves Oregonians' quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state's $9.2 billion tourism industry that employs more than 91,000 Oregonians. www.TravelOregon.com
SOURCE Travel Oregon