Explore Crater Lake
Oregon › Rim Village Visitor Center, Crater Lake NP
Added by Eric Johnson
- Deepest Lake in North America
- Tons of breathtaking viewpoints to hike
- A must for anyone that loves natural beauty
Crater is a short 20min drive up Highway 62 off of the 97. We were chasing sunset and caught the last glimmers of twilight. Just driving around the west rim is amazing. Pictures did absolutely no justice to this place, you have to see it with your own eyes...it's MASSIVE!!! Every small pull-off/parking spaces have their own trails leading off them to different view points around the rim of the Caldera. So just pick your favorite and go exploring.
A few quick facts:
- Crater Lake is the seventh deepest in the world. (1,996 ft)
- Crater Lake is isolated from surrounding streams and rivers, thus there is no inlet or outlet to the lake
- Formed around 7,700 by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama
- The lake is 5 by 6 miles across
- The Mazama eruption which eventually formed Crater Lake was 42 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
- It took 250 years of rain and snow accumulation for the caldera(a large volcanic crater formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano.) to fill to its present-day lake level
- $10 per Car (7 day pass) or check for free days
- Jacket or Windbreaker (gets a little windy on the rim)
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
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Worth A Stop, Even In Winter!
Crater lake may,for all intents and purposes, be closed during the winter months but it's still a great stop on a road trip if you are in the area. I stopped by in early spring on my way to Portland and despite there being 10+ ft of snow on the ground, I was still able to enjoy a fantastic view of the lake. Can't wait to visit in summer!
This place is incredible and one of the best natural wonders of North America, if you can see it. I've been here in March trying to wait out a multi-day a blizzard to see the lake, but finally saw it on another trip in May. If you're coming here to get great photos you'll likely have to wait a few days for good conditions.
we feel pretty grateful to call Klamath Falls home, allowing us to visit Crater lake several times a year. My favorite.... winter cross country skiing right around sunset! do it!!! the only thing. it says dog-friendly, but it's a national park, and they do not allow dogs on trails. so we can't ever bring our furry daughter. :/
Not a single picture or description can do this place any justice. Crater lake was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen: the water is this extreme shade of blue and yet its nearly see-through at the shallow portions along the rim. I came here in mid august and yes the fires and smoke are easily visible from the western rim and the northern entrance, however it was perfectly clear over the lake for great photos. We did a drive through trip going through only a portion of the rim and taking photos but I would recommend planning to spend at least a night here as there is so much to explore, and after seeing the lake you will definitely want to find one of the trails to go down and even swim in it!
Crater Lake is VERY SMOKY right now. We were there on 8/2/15 and the smoke was so thick you couldn't see the opposite side of the rim. The iconic crystal blue of the lake water was reached with slate grey. The smoke makes for very dramatic photos, and a different experience that usual. Worth it? You decide. ;o)
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to Susan Creek Falls
Oregon / Susan Creek Falls
This hike starts at the main parking lot about a mile away from the falls. The falls are accessed via a very easy, well graded trail developed and maintained by the Oregon BLM.
Hike to the Summit of Fuji Mountain
Oregon / Fuji Mountain Trailhead
Fuji Mountain has been known by mountain bikers for years, since it sits just off the circuit of popular biking routes around Waldo Lake and makes for a notoriously difficult climb on a bike.