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The State of Oregon has many wonderful places to visit but one certain place that has caught everyone’s eyes has to be the Crater Lake National Park.
A place, so serene and beautiful that it attracts tourists from every direction. The crown jewel of the park is the Carter Lake. The lake’s deep, matte blue colour is mesmerizing as well as the wonderful views that surround the lake.
The lake is 1,949 feet deep, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world.
Consisting of the caldera of the Crater Lake, remains of Mount Mazama, a destroyed volcano and hills and forests, Crater lake national park is surrounded by mesmerizing nature in every direction.
Therefore, visiting Crater Lake National Park should definitey be on everyone’s travel list, if you want to bask yourself in the warmth of mother nature.
7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama, which arises 12,000 feet over the surrounding Klamath Basin, erupted.
The eruption, which is considered one of the largest eruptions in the US, led to the formation of a large caldera. Over the course of about 740 years, a beautiful lake with a deep blue hue took its place, which at present is known as the Crater Lake.
The local native Americans witnessed the fall down of Mount Mazama and kept the event alive in their legends.
On June 12, 1853, three non-native Americans, John Wesley Hillman, Henry Klippel and Isaac Skeeters visited the lake. Astonished by the scenic beauty and the vibrant blue colour, they named the place ‘Deep Blue Lake’. After that, the lake was also known as the Blue Lake and the Lake Majesty but at last, the name ‘Crater Lake’ was chosen to identify the place.
B. WHAT MAKES THE LAKE SO UNIQUE?
Have you ever wondered why Crater Lake is so unique?
Well, the answer is simple.
The lake sits on an ancient volcanic crater, surrounded by large exposed rock walls on every side. This is not something that you do not see every day!
The best way to explore every angle of Crater Lake is through Rim Drive. It is a scenic highway in America. It is a 33-mile road with 30 parking spaces. The road loops around the caldera and has 8 viewpoints and 15 turnout vista points, each offering a spectacular view.
The full loop is open from early June to late October and the Rim Drive takes around two hours to drive. The clarity of the lake is 143 feet, which is a world record. There are more than 5 trillion gallons of water in the lake, all from rainwater and melted snow. There are two species of fish found in Crater Lake are the Rainbow Trout and Kokanee salmon.
C. WHEN TO VISIT?
The ideal time to visit Crater Lake National Park is either during winter or in summer.
Crater Lake experiences snowfall during October and November and it does not melt until Memorial Day. Visiting Crater lake national park during this time will make you fall in love with this beautiful haven.
However, Crater Lake gets the majority of visitors between June and September. The warmest summer rarely top 80 degrees. If you are looking for wonderful summer pictures to post on the gram, the background of crystal clear sea and cliffs will surely not disappoint you.
Snowshoe walks guided by park rangers during winter or hiking through the iconic trails in summer, the park never fails to disappoint you whenever you visit.
D. THE VIEWS
We cannot overlook the drool-inducing, soul-nourishing and jaw-dropping views of Crater Lake.
There is a reason why Crater Lake is the crown jewel of the park and the answer is very simple. it is the Views. The beauty of the place is something that cannot be described in words.
We are sure the pictures used in the article can convince you of what we are talking about.
The Crater Rim sits above 7,000 feet above sea level. If you look towards the north, views of the cascade range abound with the highlight being the sharp peak of Mount Thielsen. The flatlands around Klamath Falls are visible towards the south. To the east, the eastern slopes of the cascades start to fall away, giving a peek at the desert lands of eastern Oregon, and to the West, the green rolling hills lead to the Pacific.
To describe the place as beautiful is an understatement. If you get a chance to visit Crater Lake National Park, make sure to feast your eyes on the glamorous natural beauty.
E. WHERE TO STAY?
Crater Lake offers a pair of lodging options within the parking itself.
CRATER LAKE LODGE is considered an architectural icon in the National Park System, offering one of the best views in the park.
The lodge includes 71 guest rooms, a restaurant serving regional cuisine and an inviting lobby featuring free coffee and a scatter of board games. Sitting comfortably on the rocking chair on the back balcony, one can surround itself with Crater lake sitting 1,000 feet below, Crater Rim and the peaks of the southern Oregon Cascades.
Visitors can enjoy the fireplace, the views and the homely ambience. Plus they have free wifi too.
The next is THE CABINS OF MAZAMA VILLAGE. Sitting seven miles from the Crater Lake Rim, the place is perfect for families not avid on camping.
The cabin experience includes one or two queen beds per room, private bathrooms and free wifi.
Visitors also have three options for camping within Crater Lake National Park.
MAZAMA VILLAGE CAMPGROUNDS: One of the park’s most developed campgrounds. The place is rounded off with 214 tents, RV sites, fire pits, picnic tables, pay showers, restrooms and bear-proof trash bins.
The next site is THE LOST CREEK CAMPGROUND. Offering a 16-tent only site, the campground includes a picnic table, fire ring, food locker, sinks, flush toilets and access to drinking water.
And if you want to rather get off the grid, BACKCOUNTRY PERMITS is the place for you. It is an ideal place for backpackers looking to spend a night under the stars.
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot hike between Rim Drive and the rim of the lake itself. The park rangers are happy to offer directions to various backcountry sites throughout the park. Therefore, before visiting, make sure to do proper research about the facilities and the park services.
F. THINGS TO DO
VISITING THE ISLANDS
Crater Lake National Park has two islands visible, though one is often overlooked because of its size and location.
The largest and the most eminent island on Crater Lake is the WIZARD ISLAND.
Named for its wizard hat shape, wizard island rises 767 feet above Crater Lake’s surface and is accessible by ferry. The hike is not tough and the views along the way are incredible. Daring hikers can also peep into the summit crater, which is also known as the Witches Cauldron. It is 90 feet deep. Throughout the years’ people have claimed to see ghostly campfires on the island at night.
The other island on Crater Lake is PHANTOM SHIP ISLAND. It got the name ‘Phantom Ship’ because of its resemblance to a ghost ship. 160 feet above the lake’s surface, this island is a natural rock formation that is small in size and inaccessible to visitors.
GOING ON TRAILS
Crater Lake National Park has over 90 miles of trail, housing the legendary Pacific Crest Trail.
The views from each corner of the rim are unique and awesome, and the hikes are worth it. The most popular hike is GARFIELD PEAK, a short but steep hike. The viewpoints of the hike being Phantom Ship Island and Dutton Cliff and some other unique views of Wizard Island.
Another short but steep hike is the CLEETWOOD COVE TRAIL. This trail is easy but those who aren’t used to hiking can have a tough time. Swimming and fishing are permitted and boat rides to Wizard Island Trail can also be availed.
The next one is the WATCHMAN PEAK. It is a steady uphill trail that provides a panoramic view of Crater lake and Wizard Island. The trail ends next to a historic fire lookout tower build in 1932.
There are several other trails in Crater Lake National Park too.
OBSERVING THE FLORA AND FAUNA
Crater Lake National Park is home to some of the amazing old-growth forest ecosystems.
Carter Lake has four forest zone to explore: Ponderosa Pine Forest, Lodgepole Pine Forest, Mountain Hemlocks Zone and Whitebark Pines Zone. Each name has been given after its dominant tree species.
Make sure to explore them, enjoy the weather and have an amazing time.
Crater Lake is also home to plenty of wild animals. Deer, squirrels are common but visitors have also seen elk and bobcats while exploring the forest.
EXPLORING GIFT SHOPS AND CAFE
Rim Village offers a cafe and gift shop as well as the visitor’s centre.
Rim Village is the main landmark of Crater Lake National Park and visitors go there to get an amazing view of the Crater Lake. The Crater Lake Lodge is just walking distance from the village.
You can also visit Annie’s Creek if you miss Rim Village Gift Shop. And if you are looking for some best pie, don’t forget to visit Beckie’s Cafe.
Today, Crater Lake National Park is one of Oregon’s most popular tourist destinations. Half-million visitors flock to beautiful haven every year and with each visit, people bring back tons of memories with them.
If you are looking for more exciting places to visit in Southern Oregon and want to get amazed by the places natural beauty, click the link here: https://icytales.com/camping-southern-oregon-17-irresistible-places-to-see/