A mesmerizing clear deep royal blue makes you stop in your tracks as you make it to the rim of this volcano and look into the lake. The stunning blue left me breathless… I had seen plenty of photos but none compared to the real thing. At almost 2000 feet deep Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America. There are no inlets, all the water comes from snow and rain, and there’s plenty of it there. The area receives about 500 inches of snow a year!
Because the lake only gets it’s water from rain and snow, nothing is carried into it like mineral deposits for example, which makes it one of the cleanest lakes in the world. Visitors can swim at a designated area only and if you do get ready to be cold! There was still snow in June. There’s also a short boat tour where they tell you a bit about how the lake was formed. Make reservations for this and be ready for a steep hike to the water.
A quick stop at the lodge afterwards will warm you up.
Crater Lake fills a caldera that was formed by the collapse of a volcano called Mount Mazama about 7,700 years ago. The collapse devastated a huge area and spread ashes as far as Central Canada. It took between 700 to 1500 years for rain and snow to melt and create the lake we see today. The small island, called Wizards Island, within the caldera is created by a cinder cone.
Just rest your eyes on it, feel and absorb everything around you.
I’m a bit of a bird lover so I was really hoping to spot a Clark’s Nutcracker. You should never feed wildlife but I had read it was okay to share a few (raw) nuts with these guys.
I don’t let just anybody hold my hand but this guy insisted!
We entered the Crater Lake area from the south. I highly recommend stopping everywhere you can. You’ll get to see the Rogue river and learn more of the incredible history of the area.
These rocky spires below are a result of thousands of years of steam and ash erosion.
Stop and explore everywhere you can. You wont get disappointed.
Make sure you stop at Union Creek Historic District. A must try is the Huckleberry ice cream at the ice cream shop. And Beckie’s has tasty Huckleberry soda and a huge variety of homemade pie. The general store was almost out of bug spray. Make sure you bring your own.
A few suggestions…
– first and very importantly, do not forget this, bring deep woods mosquito repellent. We didn’t get bit by the lake, but everywhere we stopped prior to it, we were swarmed!
– bring food and drinks.
– be ready for cold weather. Snow in June.
– look here for camping https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/119140 it’s biking / walking distance from the small town and right on the creek. Or this one which is right next to the first https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/rogue-siskiyou/recarea/?recid=69828
– lodge and cabins at Union Creek https://www.unioncreekoregon.com/
The best way to end an adventurous day is sitting by the fire with some good tequila and telling stories until you can’t keep your eyes open anymore. Pack those bags, tent/RV and go!