Historic American Engineering Record
Addendum to Crater Lake National Park Roads
HAER No. OR-107
LOCATION: Crater Lake National Park consists
of 183,224 acres located primarily in Klamath County, Oregon, though
about 4 percent of the park is in the adjoining Douglas County and 1
percent in Jackson County. The total mileage for all primary highways
in the park is 69.89, of which the circuit around the rim accounts for
32.27 miles. Secondary and paved service roads in the park amount to
13.75 miles, for a system total of 83.64 miles.
DATES OF CONSTRUCTION: Circuit roads:
Rim Road (1913-19), superseded by Route 7, Rim Drive (1931-40).
Approach roads: 1. West Entrance Road part of Fort Klamath
Jacksonville wagon road (1865), with some relocation (1905-06),
Medford Road (1914-17), superseded by Route 1 (1925-28) with widening
and minor realignment (1972-76); 2. South Entrance Road part of
Fort Klamath Jacksonville wagon road (1865), Fort Klamath Road
(1914-17), superseded by Route 2 (1926-28) improvements (1940), with
some widening and realignment (1962); 3. Munson Valley Road part
of road to the rim from Annie Spring (1904-05), part of both Rim Road
and Fort Klamath Road (1913-14), superseded by Routes 3 and 4 (1926-28),
widening and minor realignment (1963); 4. East Entrance Road
Pinnacles/Rim Road (1913), superseded by Route 5 (1929-30, 1932-36); 5.
North Entrance Road auto trail (1919), superseded by Route 8
(1932-36), with widening and some realignment (1985-87).
STRUCTURE TYPE: Park road system
DESIGN: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau
of Public Roads (Public Roads Administration, Federal Highway
Administration), National Park Service
OWNER: National Park Service, Crater Lake
SIGNIFICANCE: The primary roads in Crater Lake
National Park were designed and constructed to provide visitor access to
the park's scenic features, which are largely concentrated along the rim
of Crater Lake. Blending roads harmoniously with the landscape was the
stated goal of the National Park Service in its collaboration with the
Bureau of Public Roads, most notably on the circuit called "Rim Drive."
The aim of subordination in road design to geological phenomena,
dramatic vistas, and subalpine forests also applied to the approach
roads, particularly where ancillary attractions like the "Pinnacles" or
Annie Creek Canyon could be seen by motorists. The Rim Drive, however,
remains an especially noteworthy example of "naturalization" among all
national park roads built during the 1930s.
Remnants of other roads at Crater Lake
illustrate construction methods that date to 1865 and changed once
horse-drawn grading equipment became available a decade or so later.
Early wagon roads were eventually realigned for highways designed for
automobiles, but pieces of a circulation system built by the Army Corps
of Engineers from 1913 to 1919 are still evident in the park,
particularly in places near the rim. Evolving design standards can also
be seen within the current road system, a product of a collaboration
that began in 1926 between the National Park Service and the Bureau of
PROJECT HISTORIAN: Stephen R. Mark, 2003
PROJECT INFORMATION: Documentation of Crater
Lake National Park's road system was conducted during the summer of 1999
by the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), a long-range program
aimed at documenting historically significant engineering and industrial
works in the United States. HAER (Eric DeLony, Chief) is a division of
the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. This
project was funded by the Federal Lands Highway Program, administered by
the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the NPS Park Roads and
Parkways Program. Fieldwork, drawings, and photography were completed
under the direction of Todd A. Croteau, Program Manager, and Tim Davis,
Program Historian. The recording team consisted of field supervisor and
historian Christian Carr (Bard Graduate Center) and architectural
technicians Sarah Lehman (University of Oregon), Walton Stowell (SCAD
Savannah, Georgia), and Simona Stoyanova (ICOMOS, Bulgaria). Jet Lowe
of HAER produced the accompanying large format photography. Stephen R.
Mark, Historian, produced the historical report, which was edited by
Justine Christianson, HAER Historian.