Visitors Illegally Enter the Caldera at Crater Lake National Park
CRATER LAKE, OREGON – On the afternoon of Friday, August 7th, park staff received a report of multiple visitors in the caldera somewhere between Rim Village and Discovery Point. Law enforcement staff responded quickly to attempt to locate them.
Park rescue staff rappelled over the edge of the caldera to look for the individuals and provide technical rescue assistance if needed. Jackson County Search and Rescue was deployed and on their way to the park. Lake research staff was called in and headed to the lake to launch one of the park boats for a possible rescue from the lake shore.
The individuals were eventually spotted near the shoreline below Rim Village. Reports indicated that there were six people involved. Eventually a total of seven visitors climbed out of the caldera on their own and were cited for illegal entry and creating a hazardous condition. Fortunately, no one was injured in the process.
The Cleetwood Trail is the only safe and legal way to access the shore of Crater Lake. Climbing in the caldera at any other location is strictly prohibited. The slopes are very unstable, and through the years, visitors have been seriously injured or even killed by illegally entering the caldera. The necessary major rescue efforts that result put park staff at risk. When visiting the park, please always stay behind the rock walls and never enter the caldera except on the Cleetwood Trail.
The National Park Service conducts thousands of search and rescues servicewide each year, many of which could be avoided with visitors planning and making responsible decisions. During the ongoing health crisis, it’s critical that everyone make wise choices to keep our national park rangers and first responders out of harm’s way. We ask that all visitors please Recreate Responsibly to safely spend time outside.