The high desert surroundings really hammer Crater Lake’s volcanic past home. The surreal landscape is exactly as cool as you think it’ll be. This park is great for photographers, and it can easily be visited in one day with little planning; just choose the day hike that looks best for you.
“an epic lake with a violent volcanic past”
Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity—fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and one of the most pristine on Earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range.
From high atop the rim of Crater Lake, you can see what a wonder the world really is. A hike down to the water reveals new wonders. The water is so blue, so deep, it’s no surprise it’s the deepest lake in America, and one of the deepest on earth. That’s why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.
Surrounded by cliffs almost 2,000 feet high and boasting a picturesque island a violent volcanic past, Crater Lake is also home to hikes in old-growth forest and cross-country ski trips in the winter months. Many of the roads and facilities close during the winter, but the park is open and accessible all year long.
Crater Lake is located in Southern Oregon, which is also home to the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the stunning Rogue River, the Oregon Caves and vineyards, chocolatiers and cheesemakers galore.
CLIMATE: Most visitors come to Crater Lake National Park during the months of July through mid-September, when the weather is generally mild with little precipitation. Due to the elevation of the park (6,500 ft. at Park Headquarters and 7,100 ft. at Rim Village), weather conditions may change quickly and a warm jacket and wool sweater are always recommended items to carry. During the winter months, from October through June, weather conditions make preparing for extreme winter conditions necessary. Blizzards, high winds, extreme cold and low visibility dominate the weather patterns. Visitors should come with cold weather gear. RECREATION: A good place to begin your visit to Crater Lake is at one of the two visitor centers. The Steel Information Center lies south of Rim Drive next to park headquarters and is open year-round. In the summer, the Rim Village Visitor Center is open along Rim Drive on the southern side of the caldera. After gathering information on the park and its facilities visitors can make educated decisions about what recreation opportunities to pursue. Hiking, backpacking, camping, picnicking and sight seeing are popular pursuits within the park. Boating and scenic driving around Rim Drive can be enjoyed by visitors during the summer months. In winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide solitude and a little-known view of the park.
I have had the luxury of extensively travelling throughout the west coast but still to this day I haven't felt the amount of instant awe as I did when I first laid eyes on this lake. It is something out of a movie! When you first drive up to the visitor centre and get out to walk the 20 meters to the edge and stand on a steep cliff overlooking this lake your mind will be blown!
I personally recommend the hike around the lake in the clockwise direction as the views of wizard island just keep getting better and better and if your daring enough go for a camping adventure on the rim! You won't regret it!
Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, you should see it. However, it is a long haul from Eugene or any of the major stops off the 5, so you'll want to plan accordingly and expect this attraction to take the whole day to get to and back.
One of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. The water is....unreal. I have never seen anything so blue. This is one of those places where you can stand in silence for hours just taking in all the beauty.
We camped on crater lake. You pay $10 for entrance and then camping fee. So worth your money though. Camping there is so peaceful and then checking out crater lake it's just amazing. This place is breathtaking. Those crystalline blue waters!! Must visit place!!!!
The most beautiful lake I've ever seen! We were headed to the Redwoods and didn't realize this was on our way. Glad we took the time to stop and see this magnificent bright blue lake. Stunning!
Beautiful site. Doesn't look real. Looks like you are looking at a postcard. The weather was perfect, about 72 even with snow all around. A definite "must see".
Even on a cloudy day, the vista was quite breathtaking. As others mentioned, the beauty of the place seems unreal. We were glad we stopped even for an hour on our drive from Seattle to the bay area.
This is obvious the coolest, most beautiful place in all of Oregon. That said there are some things you should know. Always get there early! traffic starts to build up later in the morning and rest of the day and parking is incredibly limited on the rim. Further, there was road work going on in 2017 which brought traffic to a standstill. Go very late in the season because the snow sticks! We went in late July and the Watchmen Trail was inaccessible because it was still covered in snow. The boats to Wizard Island were also not running yet. Speaking of the boats to Wizard Island, book that far in advance because that is also very limited and books up quick. I recommend also driving up long after the sun has set, because this is one of the places in America where you can still see the Milky Way in its near entirety.
Amazing. Breathtaking. Truly unique. I've never seen a picture that quite captures the vivid blue of the lake. I've visited many times and I still catch my breath when I first see the lake. If you want the best views, be prepared to hike and be warned that most trails are steep.
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Crater Lake National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for bird watching, boating, and 16 more activities. Has a Scenic vibe.
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