There are no large towns near Crater Lake National Park, so choices for local restaurants and accommodations are limited. Here’s what we experienced both inside and outside the park. If you’re interested in car camping, there are two campgrounds in the park – check out our Mazama Campground post for more info.
Note: This trip was back in 2017 when the park’s concessionaire was Xanterra. It’s now Aramark, so options inside the park may have changed.
There’s only one hotel in the park: Crater Lake Lodge. We had booked two nights, several months in advance, and were excited to stay there. But first, we’d be staying at Mazama campground. After setting up our campsite, we drove up to the lodge for a gorgeous view of the lake.
After staying two miserable nights in the campground, and cancelling our backpacking trip due to thunderstorms, we tried to get a room at the lodge. They were booked that night, but we were able to reserve a room for the following two nights.
Accommodations Outside the Park
We decided to call Diamond Lake Resort, located 45 minutes north of the park, in the Umpqua National Forest. Thankfully, we were able to reserve a room for that night. On the way, we hiked Boundary Springs Trail, which we highly recommend.
When you hear the name Diamond Lake, you expect something spectacular. However, it turned out to be pretty low-key. Its architecture is quaint and cottagey, and guest rooms are small, comfortable, and unassuming. Largely due to its location, it’s a budget-friendly alternative to Crater Lake Lodge. And we were glad they had availability, since we had no other good options.
Crater Lake Lodge
The following day, we checked in to Crater Lake Lodge. The guestrooms we stayed in were cozy, with basic amenities. There is no A/C, so we relied on fans to stay cool. The first room we stayed in had a view of Crater Lake, which added to the experience. After two nights, we switched to a room with a view of mountains on the opposite side. It was located on the top floor, in the eaves, so we were uncomfortably hot at night.
It would have been ideal to stay in one room for the entire visit, but at least they had some availability when our plans fell through. Staff at the lodge were friendly and helpful. They moved our luggage between rooms, and listened to our incessant questions about the status of our Crater Lake Boat Tour.
Overall we enjoyed the atmosphere at the lodge. We sat outside on the deck overlooking Crater Lake. In the evenings, we enjoyed relaxing in the Great Hall, particularly when the fireplace was lit. The lodge was crowded during the day, but cleared out in the evenings when only overnight guests remained.
Restaurants in the Park
Let’s start with the most memorable – the Dining Room at Crater Lake Lodge. The park website recommends making advance reservations. So we made ours several months ahead of time. Just in case. Since we were staying at the lodge sooner than anticipated, we chatted with the host and found that we could make a dinner reservation 24 hours in advance.
At dinnertime, we were seated by a window with a view of Crater Lake. After asking for a recommendation because of my dairy allergy, I ordered the Citrus Herb Chicken with veggies and wild rice. The waitress was helpful and accommodating. My meal was nicely seasoned and felt healthy, but it wasn’t amazing. Travis got Pacific Crest Trail pasta, with lemon cream sauce and salmon, which he really enjoyed. He also took advantage of the lodge’s small rotating list of craft beers on tap.
The following day, we were out hiking Mount Scott, Plaikni Falls, and the Pinnacles, so we hadn’t made a dinner reservation. Thankfully, guests can grab salad, soup, and appetizers on the balcony overlooking Crater Lake, and in the Great Hall (just outside the lodge’s main dining room). We chose to eat inside.
I asked for a wedge salad with salmon, which came with a delicious, creamy dressing. We both ordered soup of the day. Today it was wild rice with carrots, celery, mushrooms, and chicken broth. It was savory and hearty with a well-developed flavor. It looked like nothing, but it was some of the best soup I’ve ever had.
Travis ordered the BLT flatbread, which came topped with a healthy portion of greens. It was like a BLT and a pizza had a baby. He also ordered a Rogue Pendleton Pale Ale, which arrived in a Crater Lake National Park themed can. All the food and drinks we had were delicious. In fact, I preferred the food in the Great Hall.
The Great Hall has a more casual vibe compared to the dining room. Someone requested that the gas fireplace be turned on; it didn’t put out much heat, but added to the room’s ambiance. We enjoyed a cozy dinner on the couch.
The lodge restaurant also offers breakfast, so we decided to try it one morning. I had to order a la carte due to my dietary restriction, but there were many options and the wait staff was helpful once again. All in all, we greatly enjoyed the food at Crater Lake Lodge and highly recommend it.
Now let’s chat about some restaurants in the park that were memorable for a different reason. Crater Lake’s other two eateries were also operated by then concessionaire, Xanterra. The first is Annie Creek Restaurant, near Mazama Campground. It’s a casual sit down restaurant that we visited on our first night in the park.
There were many open tables, but we waited for about half an hour to be seated. I ordered a Monster Burger, without cheese, and a gluten free bun (since the regular bun contained milk). Travis ordered a pulled pork sandwich with pickles and red onion.
After another long wait, the waitress came by to apologize for the delay. She pointed to a man, and said that my dairy-free burger had mistakenly been served to him. The man eyed his food strangely, as he clearly hadn’t been told about the mix-up. The waitress offered me a complimentary trip to the salad bar, which I greatly appreciated.
After grabbing a bowl of soup, a burger was waiting for me at the table. But it was covered in mushrooms, and not what I had ordered. At this point, I just ate it, but requested some avocado, the only topping I could remember that I should have gotten. The burger was just okay, and the bun fell apart since it was a low-quality gluten free bun (and we’ve had tasty gluten free bread), but at least I didn’t get charged for the avocado or salad bar. Travis’s pulled pork sandwich was decent.
The other restaurant in the park is Rim Village Café. This place is more of a grab-n-go cafeteria, with food items sitting in fridges and under heat lamps. It’s nothing special, and expensive for what you get. We ended up paying $31 for two hot dogs, a cookie, yogurt, soda, and a fruit cup. Needless to say, we only went there once during our visit.
Restaurants Outside the Park
Establishments outside the park are spread out, so it takes time to get to them. Since we stayed one night at Diamond Lake Resort, we dined at the restaurant there. We ordered burgers; the food took forever to get to us, and was cold and tasteless. We did have a decent view of the lake to take our minds off the food, though.
We visited Beckie’s Cafe twice, and enjoyed quality food and service both times. Located on the west side of Crater Lake, Beckie’s has been around since 1926 and is known for its pie. We got a cheesesteak and a club sandwich, each with a side salad. I got an Angry Orchard cider (to make up for the salad), pretty standard but no complaints from me! They had a few local craft beers on draft, too.
The second time we visited, we had the same waitress who recognized us, and was friendly and helpful given my dairy allergy. She offered us an awkward high table next to the bar, which we happily accepted in lieu of waiting. This time we each got a Hunter Burger (no cheese on mine) with a fried egg and chipotle mayo with fries. The bun fell apart a bit, but it was still delicious.
A visit to Beckie’s wouldn’t be complete without trying the pie. Except I couldn’t eat it since it had dairy. Travis tried the peach and chocolate pie (on different visits) and they were both tasty. His favorite – chocolate – was rich, smooth, and silky with a light and fluffy whipped cream.
Overall, we were most impressed with Beckie’s Cafe and Crater Lake Lodge’s restaurant and Great Hall. Skip everything else and bring some canned tuna.
- Crater Lake Lodge | 570 Rim Village Dr, Oregon 97604
- Diamond Lake Resort | 350 Resort Dr, Diamond Lake, OR 97731
- Annie Creek Restaurant | 569 Mazama Village, Crater Lake Hwy, OR 97604
- Rim Village Cafe and Gift Shop | 42.9110909, -122.1490059
- Beckie’s Cafe | 56484 OR-62, Prospect, OR 97536