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Explore Crater Lake


based on 17 reviews


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
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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
ADA Accessible


Such a beautiful view. Good place for pictures. I went when it was snowy and it was so pretty.

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)

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Bike around Crater Lake

Snowshoe or XC Ski to Watchman Overlook

Watch the Sunrise at Crater Lake

The Rim at Crater Lake NP

Hike the Garfield Peak Trail

Visit the Lady of the Woods at Crater Lake