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Crater Lake snowed in, access and activities curtailed

Herald and News

Snowshoeing tours at Crater Lake National Park have been canceled due to extreme weather conditions, while non-essential personnel living outside the park were sent home Monday.

With heavy snowfall and high winds continuing since the weekend, the park has taken action to protect guests and employees, according to spokesperson Heidi Barker.

“It’s been dumping up here,” said Barker of heavy snows that began Friday.

She said a snowpack of 80 inches was measured Monday morning, with the possibility of 20 or 30 more inches by today. Barker said this is more than 150 percent the average for this time of year, and the first major snowfall for the park in the last four years.

Barker added wind gusts of 70 miles per hour have made conditions in wooded areas dangerous due to the likelihood of falling trees.

“We’ve had quite a few trees down based on the snow load as well as the wind,” said Barker.

As a result of these conditions, snowshoeing groups during the weekend were canceled while future recreational groups are discouraged as the storm continues. Barker also said non-essential park personnel were sent home Monday at noon for those living outside the park.

Access roads to the Crater Lake rim remain closed while the only open way into the park is from the southern entrance along Highway 62.

For up-to-date park information and closures, call the ranger station at 541-594-3000.

Elsewhere in the region, winter storms are expected to continue with storm warnings in effect through Wednesday.