Crater Lake is one of the places I would visit any number of times! There is no other place like it on this Earth. Well, I started my long journey of 470 miles from sunny Sunnyvale, CA with my sister, niece and brother-in-law. We passed signals, freeways, highways, cities, towns, barren lands and lakes. Stopped for fuel, restroom breaks and some fast food. Still the GPS showed many more miles to drive! Well, no worries ... I always feel the need, the need for speed! At last we reached the campsite (Mazama Village) by evening.
Crater Lake National Park, located in southern Oregon is 5th oldest national park of USA. The lake is the main attraction of the national park and is around 600m deep it seems which makes it the deepest lake in USA. It is popular for the intense color of the clear blue water. The lake was formed around 7,700 years ago when the volcano Mt Mazama erupted and then collapsed within itself creating a huge caldera. The heavy snowfall in the area filled the caldera to form the lake. The lake gets water from annual snowfall. Since there is no river or stream flowing into the lake other than snow the water here is considered purest in America. The Native Americans consider this a sacred site. Per their belief Mt Mazama collapsed in the battle between God Skell and Liao, the God of underworld.
The peak of Mt Mazama collapsed straight down into its own crater. When the water filled the caldera the original collapsed peak looked like an island and was called Wizard Island. The volcanic activity continued and created a small crater at the summit of Wizard Island. This crater is visible from Discovery Point and also from the top of The Watchman, hill beside the lake. Climbing to the summit of this hill is a popular short 1.8 miles hike for the incredible top views of the lake. Mt Scott is another popular and easy 4.7 miles hike to view the lake from the top and its surroundings.
After reaching the campsite setting up a tent was an easy job. It was cold and we set up campfire ... I love campfire! Cooked some soupy noodles on a camp-stove. Hot soupy noodles tasted divine in that dark cold night. Next morning we went for 33 mile long Rim Drive around the lake. There are many overlook points with parking on this drive to enjoy the views of the lake in every angle. Since my family had opted out hiking adventures we just enjoyed the views from overlooks. I looked at The Watchman with my face up shading my eyes with my left palm ... it didn't look difficult at all. And asked my brother-in-law ... shall we go up? ... the answer was No.
On my previous trips to the lake I had hiked up Mt Scott and The Watchman to see the incredible views of the lake and landscapes around. I was speechless to see the crater from the top. Also, had hiked down about 1.2 miles to the lakeshore in the Cleetwood area for a boat ride. The boat ride seemed little too expensive but waters of that mysterious lake were very inviting. Hiking up another mile on the face of that sheer cliff was a strenuous task! Sweet memories :)
After the Rim Drive we left the national park talking about the mesmerizing lake, nature's wonders, a mountain ... a volcano, a crater ... deep blue clear water ... and a lake ...
Leave a comment to share your thoughts :)
Click HERE to read more articles about National Parks of USA.
This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes.
If you want pictures please ask me :)
Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.