Orange sunset behind the mountains at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, with pine trees silhouetted in the foreground
Kelly vanDellen/
Road Trips

Road Trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake National Park

By Dianne Titos | Published on 21 April 2023

Whether you fancy tracking the rugged Pacific coastline, or would rather survey majestic mountains and national Parks, a road trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake has a route that will fit you perfectly. Take a journey to the deepest lake in the United States and reawaken your senses!

The 1,300-mile road trip from Los Angeles to Crater Lake National Park takes 22 hours to drive. You can see Malibu, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Monterey and San Francisco via the Pacific Coast Highway; or Lake Tahoe, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks inland.

Read on to discover our favorite routes from Los Angeles to Crater Lake, based on the best things to see and do on the way. We'll also highlight our recommended stopover points, some fabulous hotels and the best time to take this amazing, nature-filled trip.

How far is Crater Lake National Park from Los Angeles, and how long will the road trip take?

Comparison of road trip routes between Los Angeles and Crater Lake National Park
RouteDistanceDriving Time
The Coastal Route1,160 miles24 hours
The Inland Route1,000 miles20 hours

If small, laid-back beach towns and sunsets are your jam, then you'll absolutely love our Coastal Route, with its glorious stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway. It will take you 24 hours to drive from Los Angeles to Crater Lake via this route, covering a distance of 1,160 miles.

The Inland Route, on the other hand, comes in slightly shorter at 1,000 miles and 20 hours in duration. If you've got your hiking boots ready and crave the fresh mountain air, then this route will totally deliver, with Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks all via points on the way.

You are unlikely to find either of these routes all that challenging to drive. The Inland Route is perhaps the more tricky of the two, with mountainous areas leading to the national parks, but all of the roads involved are well-maintained and only open during seasons with suitable driving conditions.

Road snaking through the Kings River Canyon in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, California
The roads to Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite may be winding, but the views will be worth it.
Galyna Andrushko/

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of America's most popular drives and, as such, you're more likely to be caught in slow-moving traffic, as tourists flock to catch the incredible views. You'll also be passing through more towns on this route, so you can expect this to add time to your journey.

Whichever route you choose, you'll be blessed with some of the best scenery that the West Coast has to offer. Read on to look at the routes in a little more detail.

Best road trip route from Los Angeles to Crater Lake National Park