Crater Lake sits in a caldera that was formed over 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed following a major eruption. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is only fed by rain and snow, it’s considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world. The water itself is an amazing shade of blue, 1,943 feet deep, and 6 miles wide.
Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902 and is 183,000 acres. You can drive all the way around the rim (33 miles) and there are over 30 scenic pullouts along the way. Some of the best viewpoints are Watchman Overlook and Cloudcap Overlook. Be sure to stop by Videa Falls, it can be seen from a pullout on the main road.
We did two hikes while we were here, The Pinnacles and Plaikni Falls. Both are very nice hikes and between them you get to experience the old growth forest, a pinnacle valley, and see some interesting formations left behind from the volcano. Click the links to see a more in depth post about each hike.
It actually snowed part of the time we were here. It was interesting because it was only snowing in certain areas and partly sunny in others. It really made us want to come back in the winter and snowshoe!
Make sure you check out the visitor centers and drive by the historic lodge.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Crater Lake, there’s so much to do here that you really need to plan a whole day or more if you want to do a decent amount of exploring all the trails.
There is a $15 entrance fee, dogs are allowed in certain areas, and it’s very family friendly.
If you have more time, check out Toketee Falls about 25 miles past the North entrance.