Snowmobile Winter Elopement at Crater Lake and Diamond Lake

Digging the resources? You ain’t seen nothing yet…

Let’s create a day for you that’s wild, bold, and full of fun in a dramatic landscape! @samstarns

People often write to me, excited about a Crater Lake National Park elopement sometime between December and May. It’s also typical they include that they’re stoked to drive the rim and do a few hikes.

That’s where I have to break the news to them – the Crater Lake experience they’re dreaming of isn’t going to be what they find.

Can you visit Crater Lake National Park in the winter?

Crater Lake in winter is mostly in hibernation. The only driveable portion of the rim is the short stint from the gift shop to Crater Lake Lodge. And even then, sometimes the road up to the rim from the Visitor’s Center is closed due to inclement weather.

The North Entrance is completely closed off to cars, so the only way to even get close to the rim is through the West Entrance (about a 47-mile detour).

Is it worth going to Crater Lake in the winter?

Absolutely it is! Though I would highly advise making Crater Lake only part of your trip. Nearby is Diamond Lake, where there are multiple activities, including snowmobiling and ice fishing.

How to see the rim of Crater Lake in Winter

While the North Entrance is closed to vehicles, the northernmost viewpoint of the rim is accessible via snowmobile. It’s also the perfect place to have an intimate ceremony with likely no one around!

I took my two models, Tom and Emily, plus our kickass hair and makeup artist Meaghan of Black Fern Beauty to nearby Diamond Lake to rent our snowmobiles for the day. The great part about this area is that even the trail to Crater Lake isn’t groomed/accessible (which it wasn’t the day we went), Diamond Lake and nearby trails have a whole host of views to take in!

Get a Mid-Week Snowmobile Rate

As of 2023, you can get a weekday rate for snowmobiles and a night’s stay at Diamond Lake Resort. While it’s more of a rustic resort, the fact that you may be some of the only guests truly makes up for the lack of Wi-Fi.

Pro Tips

  • Sometimes weather means that not all the trails are groomed. If you want the best chance of getting to Crater Lake, aim for late February or March (even late January may work), and plan to stay and enjoy the area for multiple days. Because I’m local, I offer an option that blocks out an entire week of my time to make sure your snowy Crater Lake dreams have the best chance of coming true!
  • Work with a photographer who has the inside scoop on the snowmobiles, including the best chances of getting your ideal destinations groomed! *points to self*
  • Wear fleece-lined leggings under any wedding attire and bring Hot Hands hand warmers!
  • If you have room in your luggage and prefer your own gear, bring your own DOT approved helmet for snowmobiles.
  • Black Fern Beauty offers concierge service, which is perfect for touching up your hair after wearing your helmet! Otherwise, consider a relaxed blowout look that you can tousle after taking off your helmet and you’ll be good to go!


Makeup & Hair (plus concierge service): Meaghan Whalen/Black Fern Beauty
Florals: Fisher’s Flowers
Gown: Daci Gowns

Wondering how do you elope in Crater Lake?

Ready to book your own Crater Lake Elopement?