Crater Lake Winter and Birding in Oregon - 4 days / 3 nights self-guided, or guided

Highlights of this Oregon winter adventure are the snowy Crater Lake National Park, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge during main bird migration and the Lava Beds National Monument.

Experience  some of the most attractive wonders of nature during a four day outing between beginning of February and end of March.  Crater Lake National Park receives up to 42 feet of snow in winter. Access roads are plowed daily and open to vehicles. Bring your own snowshoes or rent them at the park and explore this fantastic winter wonderland. Add a fascinating day watching thousands of snow geese, a great number of nesting Bald Eagles and other migrating birds resting at a national wildlife refuge. Later, check out a lava tube decorated with icicles at the nearby Lava Beds National Monument. On your way from Seattle or Portland to Southern Oregon, explore one of the largest state parks of Oregon featuring beautiful waterfalls.  Make this itinerary a fully customizable treat perfect for individual and family travelers. Departures are planned from Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, with your choice of a self-guided or privately guided tour. Our tour experts are here to assist you in putting together all of the details – accommodations, hikes, maps, activity reservations and in-depth itineraries with background information – leaving you the most important job of all: packing up and heading out on a relaxing, exciting vacation!

  • crater lake national park winter
    Winter sun at Crater Lake National Park

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Explore and Hike Amazing Waterfalls
Drive from Seattle/Portland to a state park that features several magnificent waterfalls and is considered one of the most scenic areas in Oregon. Winter time offers solitude and lovely scenery while hiking through a canyon and grottos. Depending on the temperature, the mist of the waterfalls will cover the area with tiny crystals and icicles, turning this temperate rain forest into a magic winter wonderland. Your local guides will assist you in choosing your equipment and the best trails. Before darkness drive to one of Oregon’s quaint historic towns with an amazing main street and several covered bridges, all on the National Registry of Historic Places. Get a warm welcome and stay for the night.

Crater Lake winter view

Crater Lake Winter twin trees

Day 2: Scenic Highway to Crater Lake National Park
Drive along a wild river on a scenic Oregon Byway and stop for a short hike to one of the most breathtaking waterfalls along the road. Reach Crater Lake Rim Village and stop for a small lunch. Rent or bring along your snowshoes for a walk on the rim of Crater Lake. This National Park protects the deepest lake in the U.S. in a caldera of a collapsed volcano. The water always stays above freezing, and with blue skies it displays an unreal intense blue color that will take away your breath. During winter, Crater Lake Park accumulates an incredible amount of snow averaging 42 feet. The access road to the rim is open and plowed during winter. Toward evening, drive to nearby historic Fort Klamath and check in at your comfortable accommodation.

Day 3: Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge/bird migration – Lava Beds National Monument
Today, you will witness one of the most impressive bird migration spectacles of the Western U.S. The Klamath Basin has large protected national wetlands that are visited by over a million different kind of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway between Alaska and Argentina every year. This creates a world-class birding scene. Hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, ducks and geese migrate. Additionally, the area attracts the largest number of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states. Many different kind of raptors can be observed including bald and golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and others. Your local experts will suggest the best viewing spots at the time of your visit. Visit a fascinating volcanic area, the Lava Beds National Monument and explore lava tube caves, depending on the weather decorated with icicles. This is the site where the last Indian wars in Oregon took place between the Modoc Natives and soldiers stationed at Fort Klamath. Spend your 2nd night near Fort Klamath.

Day 4: Scenic drive home with stop at State Park/Arboretum
Check-out from your cabin starting your journey home. Drive on a scenic road to lower elevations and explore a state park on a walk or hike through wetlands along a river. Spot Ospreys, blue herons and other birds in this natural habitat. On to a nearby arboretum enjoy some quiet trails. Stop in Eugene, Oregon’s Emerald City surrounded by greenery all year round and eat lunch (or take out) in one of the many excellent restaurants. Continue your drive home and take along wonderful memories of winter in Oregon!

Klamath Wildlife Refuge birding

Klamath Wildlife Refuge winter bird migration


Fully customize your Oregon winter adventure to match your interests!

This adventure can be customized to match your start and end destination, and can include additional nights to give you extra time for winter fun. Think about cross-country skiing, sledding, tubing, snowmobiling and backcountry snow-cat skiing. There are many different waterfall hikes available and we will assist you in selecting the ones that best match your adventure style. As with all of our custom tours we can adjust the itinerary to match special interests and needs. If you are traveling with children or pets let us know. Our experts also know all of the interesting historical sites and can share information about the history, the flora/fauna and geology of the region. Ask about our custom guided tour options!


Selected, privately owned lodging that represents the area:

  • 1 night in a comfortable hotel in beautiful historic Cottage Grove, OR on the National Register of Historic  Places
  • 2 nights in a cozy cabin with kitchenette near Crater Lake NP

*dependent on availability at the time of booking
**accommodation upgrades available

Crater Lake Area Cabins

Costs and Dates

Winter Departures from February 2023 to March 2023

Self-guided or privately guided tour available. Please inquire for availability and pricing.

You can book through us by phone 541-535-2015 (or toll-free 1-877-538-5353), email us at

Book Now / More Info

Contact us at with any questions, we are always happy to help you put together your perfect winter getaway.

We are happy to answer your questions and customize your itinerary to match your needs! Your tour will include a detailed itinerary prepared by a knowledgeable local expert, complete with background information and maps for the area. We will make adjustments as needed for closures and COVID-19 concerns. Custom tour options are available in a range of budgets and final cost will vary dependent on the number of travelers, accommodations and activities.

Related Tours

Crater Lake adventure tours in winter and in summer

You might be interested in these tours as well:

Crater Lake Winter Tour – 4 days / 3 nights, self-guided or guided

Oregon Winters – 8 days/ 7 nights, guided

Oregon Trail Dreams – 14 days / 13 nights, guided