Crater Lake Trolley: Riding Around the Rim

Sep 20, 2018

Perhaps one of the most interesting and underrated things to do at Crater Lake is the Crater Lake Trolley. Unlike the Crater Lake Visitor Centers, the Crater Lake Zipline, or the Crater Lake waterfalls, many people don’t know it exists. But we are going to provide you with some first-hand information on the Crater Lake Trolley, so you can add it to your list of must-do’s while at Crater Lake. You won’t want to miss out on this fun experience on your vacation to Crater Lake.

What is the Crater Lake Trolley

The Crater Lake Trolley has been running yearly in the summer months for nearly two decades. This service is operated out of Klamath Falls, OR via The Shuttle at the AMTRAK station.

The Crater Lake Trolley currently has three historically designed and engineered trolleys that operate daily at Crater Lake. Each trolley is able to fit comfortably 25 passengers per trip. On average, the trolley can see upwards of 400 visitors a day between the 3 trolleys.

The tour itself lasts about 2 hours as it rides around the Rim of Crater Lake, with stops in specific locations and points of interest. These stops, along with your ride are all perfect for snapping photos of the local landscape.

While on the Crater Lake Trolley, you will also have a National Park guide/interpreter that will help provide valuable information about Crater Lake and the unique features of Oregon’s only National Park. This service allows visitors to learn much about Crater Lake while being immersed in the environment. Each guide will be available to answer any questions you may have about the park.

The Crater Lake Trolleys are also ADA compliant while being designed to help accommodate visitors to the park who may have disabilities.

With this in mind, there are some wheelchair limitations. Maximum wheel width is not to exceed 28 inches. Maximum combined weight of wheelchair and passenger is not to exceed 400 pounds. All wheelchairs must be standard wheelchairs, no motorized, oversized chairs, or scooters are allowed.

For your safety and the safety of others, no pets are allowed on the trolley.

Crater Lake Trolley Cost and Location

All of the Crater Lake Trolley tours start at the Community House at Rim Village located within Crater Lake National Park.

The Shuttle from the AMTRAK station departs from Klamath Falls daily at 9:00 a.m. to go to Crater Lake. The Shuttle operates July 1st through Labor Day.

All other days of the year, travel is left up to you. Please be aware that Crater Lake is 65 miles away from Klamath Falls, so be sure to allow for time to travel as you are required to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled Crater Lake Trolley tour.

The cost for The Shuttle from Klamath Falls is $40 for adults and $30 for seniors and children ages 2-12. This price is not included in the Crater Lake Trolley tour price.

Tickets for the trolley tour are $27 for adults, $24 for seniors, $17 for children ages 6-13, and children under five ride the trolley for free. There are also group rates available when you call to make your reservation.

When you make reservations online, your card is not charged until the time of your Crater Lake Trolley tour when you present your card for tickets, in case you should have to cancel.

You can call for answers to questions or to book reservations daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Or go online to book.

Times for the Crater Lake Trolley

The Crater Lake Trolley offers several times for your two-hour tour so you can plan your day accordingly.

For the summer season, July 1st through Labor Day, the trolley tours are at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

After Labor Day, the Crater Lake Trolley operates under restricted fall hours as long as weather permits. These tour times are 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.

The Crater Lake Trolley Shuttle also stops at Mazama Village Campground and Store. These daily visits stop at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. in the summer with the return shuttle coming at 3:00 p.m. In the Fall, this service also uses restricted times while the weather permits, at 9:30 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. with the return shuttle coming at 3:30 p.m.

Crater Lake Trolley does shut down for two days in the month of September for the “Ride the Rim” bike ride. Check your calendar or the website for these days.

Crater Lake Trolley Testimonials

Take the word of some of these visitors to Crater Lake that took the Crater Lake Trolley for further reasons on why you shouldn’t miss out on the Crater Lake Trolley tours.

Cindy T. said of her visit:

“We had originally planned to drive around the Rim on our own but so glad we did the trolley tour instead. The large windows allowed easy viewing of all the beautiful vistas and even though we sat in the back we all could hear the tour guide perfectly.

The friendly volunteer ranger who was our guide gave an exceptional explanation of how the lake was formed, history, flora and fauna, geology…basically everything about the lake and surrounding area and even showed pictures and passed around a lake clarity measuring device.

Everyone on our tour asked lots of questions and the ranger thoughtfully answered each one. All the stops where we got off the trolley were scenic and the guide further elaborated on its noteworthiness. After the tour ended and now understanding more of the area truly gave me a deeper appreciation of the lake.”

This is what Maryann L. said of her visit:

“When we entered the park the ranger gave us the usual map of the park and a postcard describing the Rim Drive Trolley. What a great idea! Later we learned from our driver that the trolleys were purchased from the city of Detroit. They had been used to shuttle people at the Super Bowl. Tickets are purchased at the Community Building at Rim Village.

Our driver was friendly and offered pads for the hard wooden seats. Our guide, Tim, was a geologist and a National Park volunteer. He provided great narratives at each of the 6 stops, gave us a history of the park, the formation of Crater Lake and had photos to share of the park’s wildlife and samples of volcanic rock, pumice and obsidian.

This was a perfect way to do the Rim Drive. Tim and our driver tried to avoid the crowds at the most popular stops and we didn’t miss anything. We had plenty of time at each stop for photos. The trolley we took drove clockwise around the caldera. For the best photos with the sun behind you most of the time, go in the early afternoon. If you drive the Rim, take the West Rim entrance in the morning and the East Rim entrance in the afternoon.”

Take a peek at this review as well:

“I am so glad that I read the trip advisor reviews about the Trolley Tour around the Rim of Crater Lake before my husband and I headed there a few weeks back. Crater Lake is stunningly beautiful! And, we were so happy that we were able to thoroughly enjoy it since we did not have to drive the 30 miles around the Rim of the Lake. I agree with the people on the site who say it is a must do.

We learned so much information that we would not have otherwise known with Park Ranger Dave as our guide – he also told some great jokes! The driver Mike was also fabulous, and the owner Sandy was delightful. In my opinion, the trolley tour is well worth the money. I love to take photos and appreciated that the trolley stopped many times around the Lake for photo opportunities.

The two hours just flew by. I cannot say enough about how accommodating everybody who works for the Crater Lake Trolley is – including when making reservations, giving directions, and even after the tour was over. I realized after we had driven all the way back to Portland, Oregon that I had left my favorite fleece jacket from Africa on the trolley. When I called, they told me that they would mail it to me, which they did. My fleece arrived one day after we returned from vacation. Now, that is service! In short, Crater Lake is stunningly beautiful, and the Crater Lake Trolley Tour was informative and fun!”

For more reviews like these visit the Crater Lake Trolley website.

Crater Lake Trolley is a Must

For some of the best views of Crater Lake and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, be sure to reserve your Crater Lake Trolley tour.

You will be glad you took the trolley as you learn all about Crater Lake, and have a unique experience with your Crater Lake Trolley guides and drivers.

Be sure to save your photos and leave a testimonial like so many other visitors who recommend the Crater Lake Trolley. We’ll see you on the Rim!