Klamath Falls and Ashland, both south of the park, and Roseburg, to the west, are the three main gateways to Crater Lake National Park. Other practical bases include Medford, 10 miles from Ashland, and (during the summer, when Crater Lake's North Entrance is open), the city of Bend, a 2- to 2½-hour drive north. Klamath Falls is about an hour's drive from the park. Klamath Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Oregon, is just north of the city, whose acres of parks and marinas provide endless opportunities to enjoy water sports and bird-watching. Ashland, one of Oregon's premier destinations, is set in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. One of the city's chief appeals is its famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland has fine small inns, shops, and restaurants, and the Rogue Valley wine country is nearby. Crater Lake is about a two-hour drive away. Roseburg's location at the western edge of the southern Cascades led to its status as a timber-industry center—still the heart of the town's economy—but its site along the Umpqua River has drawn fishermen for years. The drive from Roseburg to Crater Lake takes about two hours.
Not everyone has the courage to explore these macabre destinations. Do you?More