If you missed the intro post to this blog series, be sure to check it out here.
As you can tell by the abundance of photos that I have included in this post, there is no shortage of beauty at Crater Lake National Park. The story behind Crater Lake makes it that much more majestic; it formed after a volcano erupted and subsequently collapsed over 7,700 years ago. Being that Crater Lake does not connect with any lakes or streams and is instead fed by rain and snow alone, it is touted as one of the cleanest large bodies of water in the world. Similarly, at nearly 2,000 feet deep, it is the 9th deepest lake in the world. Because it is contaminated on such a small scale and its waters are so deep, Crater Lake is made up of some of the bluest water you will ever lay eyes on.
The best means to enjoy Crater Lake is to either stop at several overlooks along Rim Drive or hop on one of the boat tours offered by the park. The boat tours involve a 1.1 mile hike to the boat dock followed by the tour itself. Dan and I would have loved to take a boat tour, but they were sold out by the time we arrived to the park. I later found out that the Wizard Island Tour allows for top-notch cliff jumping. If and when I revisit Crater Lake, you know what I’ll be doing. ;)
Being that our drive from Lake Tahoe to Crater Lake was the longest of our road trip, we didn’t arrive to camp until quite late. Being that it was both cold and dark when we arrived, we set up camp in record time. We stayed at the Mazama Village Campground, but had I known just how chilly it would be at Crater Lake in early September, I would have opted for a cabin. Luckily, we were at Crater Lake for only one night and were accompanied by the most amazing night sky that I’ve ever seen. Since we were at such high elevation with limited pollution, I was able to spot one constellation after the next. It was an awe-inspiring experience! Between the stars, a toasty campfire, and hardcore snuggles, we quickly forgot about the cold and ultimately drifted off to sleep.
After a chilly night’s sleep, we woke up early, packed up camp, and drove along West Rim Drive. It’s important to note that we chose the western portion of the drive only because it made sense for our subsequent drive to Portland. I’m sure other portions of the drive are just as scenic! Anyway, we stopped at three overlooks before we hit the road again, and the views were nothing short of amazing. We were up-close-and-personal with Wizard Island and were able to spot Phantom Ship from afar. The last overlook that we stopped at was Watchman Overlook, which is a must. At an elevation of just over 8,000 feet, it offers the most encompassing views of the lake and its surroundings.
…Next stop, Portland!