Let me start by telling you that the color of Crater Lake is even more mesmerizing when you are there. We still can’t get over the color, neither one of us has ever seen anything like it before. We first arrived at the rim of the crater at 2 a.m. and there was a stunning reflection of the moon glittering across the surface of the lake. Unfortunately, I didn’t have good enough camera equipment to capture it. The photos turned out totally black with the moon glowing in the sky.
We pitched our tent in the campground which was a little ways down from the lake, and got a few hours of sleep. The next morning, we headed back up to see Crater Lake in the daylight. The depth of blue almost takes your breath away. When you stare straight down at it, it would seem as if you were falling into the sky.
We decided to do the hiking trail for Garfield Peak, the highest point on the rim of the crater. It’s a good little climb for about an hour to get to the top, with stunning views the whole way.
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is one of the deepest in the world at 1,943 feet. It was formed during the volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama. The volcano blew thousands of feet from it’s top, and the ash from the eruption has been found as far north as British Columbia. The resulting lava flows sealed the caldera which filled with water, (4.6 trillion gallons) creating Crater Lake.
Here are a couple of views looking back toward the lake on the way up the mountain.
There are two islands in Crater Lake. The one in the above photo is Wizard Island, and you can get there by tour boat. There is a trail to the top where there is a 90′ deep crater.
The lake is up to 6 miles across in places and is 13,069 acres in area; in other words, massive. We really enjoyed spending some time at different points around the lake to gain a different perspective. There is so much to look at, and you can’t see nearly as much just from one place.
Here is a view of the other island, Phantom Island. It comes by it’s name naturally as it can be difficult to see in certain weather conditions. We were surprised to learn that what looks like such a small island is actually 17 stories tall and 1/10th of a mile long. The best view of this island is from the Sun Notch Viewpoint Hike.
Here we are, at the top, with stunning views all around. It’s hard to appreciate the immensity and vastness of this lake in just one photo. You can’t see all of it at once even standing on the highest point of the rim. After a little while, the colors of the lake and sky start to merge. It’s the oddest sensation to feel like you’re looking at the sky when you are looking down.
A happy Tyler at the top.
This view is looking southward into the Klamath Falls region. You couldn’t see very well because there were several forest fires wreaking havoc at the time.
Crater Lake is truly amazing and one of our favorite places from our Oregon trip. The Travel Oregon website is a great reference for places to stay and many more things to do when you’re in the area.