Crater Lake is not only Oregon’s sole National Park, but it is the deepest lake in the United States at just over 1900 feet. Really what strikes everyone as they catch their very first glimpse is the brilliance of the blue water. Photos of Crater Lake give you an idea of the color, but this is one you absolutely want to engage with your own eyes.
If you’re travels take you through Oregon, Crater Lake National Park should be on your itinerary if at all possible. It’s far from I-5 so you do have to make it a point to go there; but I promise, you will thank yourself, it’s uniquely beautiful.
It is one of the, “7 Wonders of Oregon” stopovers as identified in the tourism departments overwhelmingly successful campaign. I’ll cover the other 6 in another post, but if you only see one, this is it.
From our home Crater lake is but an hour’s ride south and a favorite spot to cruise through and have a picnic. There is an entrance fee $10 for motorcycles ($15 Cars) and they are going up….way up. The initial proposal was to raise the car fee to $50…….ridiculous was the response by more than just us…….so it will be a graduated increase of $5/year. We buy an annual, “Interagency pass” (2015 was $80) and we figure we saved more than double that with all the parks we visited. Call your congresspeople……National Parks should not be priced out of reach of families !!!!
There are two entrances to the park, the North and the West with each accessing, “Rim” Drive and the main area, “Rim Village.” Mt. Mazama was once the highest peak in Oregon at over 12,000′, until a spectacular eruption took about a mile off the top. Some blew away and some fell into the now famous caldera. With no rivers or streams flowing into (or out of) the crater, it eventually filled with rain and snow. This water is thought to be some of the purest on the planet due to a lack of pollution. The intense blue comes out of the fact that all light except blue is absorbed by the water.
The rim itself runs between 7 & 8,000 feet above sea level and it’s around 2,000 feet down to the water. Heads up, people die here after getting too close to the edge and falling…..heed the warning signs and stay back.
The North entrance is closest to us and our preferred route in the summer. During the winter the park is open, but only accessible via the South road off Hwy 62. Don’t avoid the park if you happen by in the winter, even with a average of 44 feet of snow it is maintained and open.
Since we’re headed in for a picnic, our first destination is Rim Village for the best views while we eat.