Crater Lake National Park – Oregon

As expected, we didn’t have any internet access or cell phone, or TV or even land line phones on Weds thru Friday, so I wasn’t able to post anything. On Friday night and Saturday we were just too busy. Here are some highlights of the last half of our vacation.

On Wednesday morning we drove about 150 miles from Crescent City, California to Union Creek, Oregon which is just about 20 miles from Crater Lake National Park. We checked in to our little cabin at Union Creek Resort and had a good chunk of the afternoon left, so we headed up to Crater Lake. These are shots from Crater Lake lodge on the veranda behind the lodge where they have about 20 rocking chairs all lined up facing a gorgeous view of the lake. Terry and I enjoyed the view for quite a while while listening to the park ranger talk about the formation of the lake.
I’ll try not to bore you with too much detail, but this lake is quite unusual. It was formed from a volcano that erupted, then collapsed in on itself leaving a caldera about 6 miles wide and 4 miles long. Over the years, it filled with rain and snow runoff to create the lake that we see today. It’s the deepest lake in the continental U.S. (7th deepest in the world) registering nearly 2000 ft deep at the lowest point. As you can see from the photos, it is an amazing shade of blue due to the depth and clarity of the water!

The other unusual thing is that there’s only one “official” trail (Cleetwood Cove) to get to the water’s edge from the top. Most of the shoreline is steep and rocky with very loose gravely pumice and other volcanic rock that’s difficult to walk on. We did get a chance to hike down to the water’s edge and even took a ranger-hosted 2-hour boat tour, which was so much fun! We talked about how Kevin would be so great to have as a ranger on a tour like this. Of course, he’d have to be careful not to make stuff up like he usually does. He would make an awesome ranger and guide and would be so great with all ages of people.

The hike back up reminded me of the switch-backs at Havasupai, only shorter & shadier with a nice cool breeze. We were told that the hike was equivalent to climbing 65 flights of stairs (although the sign at the top said 150 flights – not sure which is right). We decided it was good that we did it at the end of our trip after we’d been hiking easier trails most every day. Here you can see the view from the top of the trail. There’s a person walking 3 levels below us on the path and the boat (which holds 20 or so people) is down in the water at the dock. The blue water photo was taken from the boat and is a reflection of the rocks in the ultra blue lake. It was amazing!

And there’s so much more to talk about…Wizard Island, the Phantom Ship, Devil’s Backbone, Vidae Waterfall, an eagle’s nest and even the Old Man of Crater Lake. If you want to read more about these things follow the links or go to the Crater Lake website here or let me know if you want to see more pics and I’ll post them somewhere.

I do have to post a pic of the Pinnacles. These formations are so bizarre. You’d never believe they were natural. Scientists say that when the very hot ash and pumice came to rest near the volcano, it formed 200 to 300-foot thick gas-charged deposits. For perhaps years afterward, hot gas moved to the surface and slowly cemented ash and pumice together in channels and escaped through fumaroles. Erosion later removed most of the surrounding loose ash and pumice, leaving tall pinnacles and spires. You can get an idea of how tall they are by the size of the full grown trees next to them.

Well, you get the idea. There was so much to see and do. We had a great time!

One thought on “Crater Lake National Park – Oregon

  1. Oh my gosh, I loved reading about your every adventure and everything is sooo interesting!Such amazing natural beauty to behold!And your pics capture that beauty sooo well!Can’t wait to hear more!


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