You have reached the highest elevation on
Rim Drive - 7865 feet (2397m). Here at
Cloudcap Overlook you have an almost aerial
view of the steep-sided caldera of the fallen Mt.
Mazama and the lake it holds.
You are now looking west, the direction from
which winter storms approach the caldera. Each
year they blanket the park with an average of
more than 500 inches (1270cm) of snow.
However, the lake rarely freezes over.
During the short summer, rainfall in the park is
minimal. Clouds give up most of their moisture
on the western slopes of the caldera; the eastern
slopes on this side are noticeably drier. Summer
temperatures in the park are moderate, with
highs seldom exceeding 85 F (29 C). At these
high elevations, temperatures drop below
freezing nearly every night of the year.
Heavy snowfall closes most of
Rim Drive from mid-September
to mid-June, but park snowplows
usually manage to keep the south
and west entrance roads open.