During the Memorial Day holiday in late May we planned a trip to Oregon state and Crater Lake National Park was the highlight of our trip. This park is situated in Southern Oregon on the crest of Cascade Mountain range. The drive up is beautiful; mountains and rugged terrain and all the coniferous trees here just create a very serene ambiance. As we drove via the North Junction up to the lake the snow started out in small patches and then several inches deep. It turned into few foot banks of snow as we drove on Rim drive to Rim Village which has a café, gift shop, visitor center and Crater Lake lodge.
Rim Visitor Center
We reached the Rim Visitor Center which overlooked the stunning lake and provided a wealth of information about its history. It is hard to believe that such a tranquil beauty of nature has a violent volcanic past. This 1,943 foot deep lake lies inside a caldera, or volcanic basin, and was created when the 12,000 foot high Mount Mazama collapsed 7700 year ago following a large eruption. We spent some time gathering information about the place and also collected few souvenirs. It was also interesting to learn that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and seventh deepest in the world. Because the lake is filled almost entirely by snowfall, it is one of the clearest lakes in the world. These facts helped me to appreciate the lake and this whole environment we are living in even more.
Wizard island as viewed from the Watchman Overlook viewpoint
We then walked to the Crater lake and the complete glimpse of it immediately took my breath away. The sky and the majestic mountains surrounding reflect upon the very blue water in the lake making it one of the most spectacular places on earth. The East Rim Drive was still closed due to the snow on the roads so we could not do the drive around the other half of the lake. We then drove on the West Rim Drive towards the Discovery Point viewpoint and the Watchman Overlook viewpoint. There were snow-covered mountains all around with serene deep blue Crater Lake in the center; scenic beauty at its best. These spots provide a closer view of the Wizard island. It is great to drive around the crater and see the lake and Wizard Island from different perspectives. The views are amazingly beautiful. We played in the snow and also captured many beautiful pictures.
This was a half day trip. We could not do any hikes as all the trails were covered under snow. Also during summer season there are boat rides in the lake accessible by a trail leading down from the rim. I would definitely plan to come back when there is no snow on the ground. But for my first trip there, I am glad I experienced it the way I did. It was a wonderful spot to bask in the glory of nature. I cannot forget the surreal views and the feelings.