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North entrance to Crater Lake opens for season

'Exceptionally early opening' possible with low snowpack
 Posted: 2:00 AM May 16, 2013

Crater Lake National Park's North Entrance Road is now open for travel.

Warm temperatures and a low snowpack have resulted in an "exceptionally early opening" for the north entrance, park Superintendent Craig Ackerman said in a news release on Wednesday. West Rim Drive is open for visitors to drive through the park and see the lake, the release said.

Some snow — plenty for throwing snowballs — remains on the ground at park headquarters. All trails, including the Cleetwood Trail, are still closed and snow covered, officials reported.

However, it is possible to hike and bike on parts of East Rim Drive that have been plowed, but are not yet open to traffic.

With several feet of snow still covering much of the park, visitors should be aware of potential hazards such as slippery snow patches and falling rocks, especially near overlooks along Rim Drive, officials warned in the release.

National Park Service snow removal crews are now focusing their efforts on opening other parts of the park. More information will be issued when the entire Rim Drive is open.

Crater Lake Lodge will open for the season on Friday. The Rim Café and Gifts is open daily.

Steel Visitor Center in Munson Valley is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ranger talks will be given daily at Crater Lake Lodge beginning Friday. The park's full complement of ranger-led programs, including boat tours and trolley tours, is scheduled to begin June 28. For more information, call the Steel Visitor Center at 541-594-3100.

For lodging reservations, call 888-774-2728; for general concession information, call 541-594-2255.

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