Crater Lake National Park has been on our places to go for quite awhile. So we were excited to finally go. Our plan was to camp in the park for two nights and we chose to go after Labor Day to make sure it wasn’t too busy. We got to the park in good time and our anticipation of seeing the lake grew as we drove up the mountain. When you first see it, the striking blue color is a bit breathtaking. It is a very beautiful lake.
Crater lake was formed when Mt. Mazama erupted so many times that the mountain literally collapsed in on itself leaving a giant caldera with a very even edge around it. There is no water that flows into the lake and there is no outlet. All the water comes from precipitation and snow melt and is balanced by evaporation. This makes the water very clear (you can see more than 100 ft. down in most places). Crater Lake is also one of the world’s deepest lakes at 1,949 feet deep.
We headed to the campground to get a spot and found that it was pretty empty, despite being totally full over the weekend. So we were happy about that.
There are two island in the lake. The big one is Wizard Island, an active volcano that rose up from the crater floor. We saw the second island later.
After lunch, we walked around the Rim Village where the lodge and visitor center are.
Every time Magnus would see the lake he would get very talkative and keep pointing at it and other things. He seemed to really enjoy it.
More pretty colors:
We drove the rim drive that takes you all the way around the lake with lots of viewpoints to stop at.
One stop looked out on an odd formation called the Pumice Castle. The cliff it was on had a lot of pretty layers in it.
Here is the second island: Phantom Ship.
There are a few waterfalls in the park. This one is right off the road and called Vidae Falls:
Our first day was great. We ended with a nice evening by the fire. Magnus thought the fire was hot and wouldn’t go near it by himself, so that was good. The day’s temperature had been in the 70’s but at night is was in the mid-30’s. Good thing we brought lots of blankets.
Also, I caught a bug that is very rare, a giant lacewing. It may not sound exciting but it is rare enough that little is known about it and most entomologist go their whole careers without seeing a live one. The best part is this is the second one I have found (the other was found on a camping trip near Grand Canyon).