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Crater Lake National Park: Deepest Lake in the United State With Unbelievable Beauty!

Updated on February 24, 2019
Peggy W profile image

Our two-week Oregon vacation was fantastic, making us wish to someday see more of this most scenic of states in the beautiful northwest.

View of Crater Lake and Wizard Island
View of Crater Lake and Wizard Island | Source

Crater Lake

You must see Oregon's only National Park, Crater Lake, in person to fully believe the unbelievable depth of color in this most beautiful of settings!

Oregon is a great travel destination. An Oregon vacation pleases almost everybody offering much in a wide variety of terrains for the nature lover or sports enthusiast and everyone in between.

My mother, niece and I traveled to Oregon to spend two weeks exploring different areas, and this article will address seeing a spectacular national park within its borders.

Mount Mazama

Mount Mazama erupted at various times throughout half a million years, and at its height, this mountain was about 12,000 feet tall. Located in the southwestern part of the State of Oregon, a massive eruption finally caused the Mt. Mazama to collapse forming a caldera. The eruption was so massive that inches of ash from the mountain spread into eight states and three provinces of Canada.

Pumice Desert around Crater Lake
Pumice Desert around Crater Lake | Source

Pumice Desert

Surrounding the caldera is a desert of ash called the Pumice Desert. It is eerily devoid of vegetation as the ash is 50 feet deep in most places. This pumice desert is in stark contrast to the lushness of foliage and waterfalls and other sites we viewed in Oregon.

Interesting Facts About This Lake

The bowl-like caldera eventually began to collect rain, spring water and snow and filled up to become the beautiful site it is today. The color of the water is an intense blue due to the light refraction in its deep waters.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States at 1932 feet or 589 meters, and the 7th deepest in the entire world.

Lake Baikal in Siberia has the distinction of being the deepest lake at a depth of 5712 feet or 1741 meters.

Native Americans first discovered Crater Lake according to legend. John Wesley Hillman and some prospectors found the lake in 1853 and named it "Deep Blue Lake."

Crater Lake has a closed ecosystem with no streams of water running into or out of the lake.

The water level remains relatively constant fluctuating only about 3 feet. In the year we were there (1987) they were still allowing boat tours on the lake. Some debate ensued as to whether they would keep doing that as they did not want anything to destroy this natural beauty and treasure.

We chose not to take that boat tour, but my young niece and I walked the steep 1.1-mile trail down to the water's edge while my mother stayed at the top.

Only hearty souls get to see the lake from below because of the steep hike both directions. No wheelchair access here for sure!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Crater LakeMy mother and niece at Crater LakeMy niece resting against a tree trunk on the steep hike down to Crater Lake Near the water after the hike down to Crater LakeCrater Lake
Crater Lake
Crater Lake | Source
My mother and niece at Crater Lake
My mother and niece at Crater Lake | Source
My niece resting against a tree trunk on the steep hike down to Crater Lake
My niece resting against a tree trunk on the steep hike down to Crater Lake | Source
Near the water after the hike down to Crater Lake
Near the water after the hike down to Crater Lake | Source
Crater Lake
Crater Lake | Source

What is readily accessible to anyone with a vehicle is a 33-mile drive along the rim of Crater Lake.

Many waysides are available so that people can pull off the two-way road and soak up the beauty from many different angles from above looking down into the azure waters. It is open around mid-July until closed by falling snow which is generally sometime in October. So vacationers who wish to see this need to plan their trips accordingly.

Even though it was August we found some snow and had a snowball fight.
Even though it was August we found some snow and had a snowball fight. | Source

At one of these pull-over stops, we found an abandoned pup that had been inadvertently left behind by its owners.

We picked up the waif and with my mother holding her on her lap, we headed back to the Crater Lake Lodge which was the only thing that we could think to do under the circumstances.

The people who had pulled off at the same site and realized that their pup was missing began frantically looking for her and we passed each other. They saw their dog in our car looking out the front window. They immediately turned around and followed us.

When both cars pulled into the parking lot, they began honking their horn. A very happy reunion took place!

My niece in the parking lot of the Crater Lake Lodge
My niece in the parking lot of the Crater Lake Lodge | Source

Crater Lake Lodge

Crater Lake Lodge built in 1909 had additions added between 1923 and 1953.

It is incredibly rustic and was built using rocks and log construction. Amenities that we take for granted today were not included. We paid extra to have a bathroom in our newer cottage, as most rooms did not have those facilities. We had a claw-footed tub and commode with the tiny sink outside that room due to space considerations. The mattresses we slept on (or attempted to sleep on) were primitive. Think hammock in a closet-sized room!

Hopefully, those mattresses are newer by now. Ha! Our room did have a spectacular view of the lake which we enjoyed. The Lodge sits on the rim about 900 feet above the lake.

Sunrise from our room at the Crater Lake Lodge
Sunrise from our room at the Crater Lake Lodge | Source

Crater Lake became a national park during the Teddy Roosevelt presidency in 1902.

Altitude ranges from 4,405 to 8,926 feet above sea level. This national park is open year round with snow covering at least a portion of the park for about eight months of the year.

High peaks surround the rim, and one sees a diversity of fir trees, lodgepole, and Ponderosa pines as well as various shrubs and wildflowers. At each stop along the rim drive, the ever-present chipmunks were begging for a handout from the vacationers.

One sees some lovely mountain meadow trails when hiking around the lake. We took advantage of this, and the following pictures will show some of what we got to view.

Mountain meadow around Crater Lake

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mountain meadow around Crater LakeMy niece Crater Lake Mountain Meadow scene My niece and me in the Mountain Meadow surrounding Crater Lake
Mountain meadow around Crater Lake
Mountain meadow around Crater Lake | Source
My niece
My niece | Source
Crater Lake Mountain Meadow scene
Crater Lake Mountain Meadow scene | Source
My niece and me in the Mountain Meadow surrounding Crater Lake
My niece and me in the Mountain Meadow surrounding Crater Lake | Source

If you wish to see the deepest blue water ever imagined, put Crater Lake National Park in Oregon on your travel agenda, and you will not be disappointed!

Have you ever visited Crater Lake?

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Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

A
Crater Lake National Park:
Crater Lake National Park, Crescent Lake, OR 97604, USA

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed. Thank you!

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      I have been fortunate. Travel has always been of interest to me and I relish those memories and experiences above other things.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      18 months ago

      You have gone to many majestic places.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Robert,

      Very happy to be able to introduce you to places like Crater Lake National Park. I also like reading other people's travel articles of places that I have never experienced.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      18 months ago

      This article is great and the pictures and videos are wonderful. I really love your travelogue articles. They give an up close and personal look at places I've either never heard about or never think about.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      So glad you liked my Crater Lake hub. The color of that water was absolutely amazing!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      2 years ago from Minnesota

      It is amazing how a crater lake is formed. This is one national park I know I would enjoy seeing for myself. I'd love to take a dip in the water.

      Lovely tour, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello GetitScene,

      Crater Lake is definitely that...a beautiful natural wonder! So glad that you and your wife got to enjoy it. The color of the water is just so amazing! Thanks for your comment.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      6 years ago from The High Seas

      Love crater lake. My wife and I went there a few years ago and it was beautiful. Magnificent natural wonder.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sheila,

      With your love of travel, I know that you would enjoy visiting Crater Lake and other places in the beautiful State of Oregon. Glad that you enjoyed this hub. Appreciate your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Don,

      This being the deepest lake in all of North America...is is surely interesting not only for that fact but the deep rich colors that come from light reflecting off of it. Yes...I think that many lakes have originated from depressions in the earth for whatever cause. Perhaps someday you will head out that way to see it? Thanks for your comment and the rest. :))

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      It would be wonderful if you could get out to Oregon someday. Crater Lake is an amazing national park but there are so many other wondrous things to see in that beautiful state that it would be a great destination for a vacation. Thanks for the 5 stars, votes and share.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      What a beautiful place! I would love to travel there someday. Your information is excellent and so are your pictures! I enjoyed learning more about Crater Lake. Voting up, interesting and beautiful! :)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Hi Peggy, What I find most interesting is the lake being created by water filling in a natural depression in the Earth. A sign, in a way or the planet renewing itself. I've noticed in mining country like northern Minnesota that old open pit mines have felled with water and become lakes(at least I think that is what happened.) Crater lake would be interesting and impressive to see. voted up, awesome, 5 stars. sharing.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub, beautiful pictures five stars, up and shared. I would love to visit a place like this.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Margaret,

      Nice that you have gotten to see this spectacular site in person. Like you said, the color of the water in Crater Lake is absolutely amazing. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      As you said, Spring has surely sprung in Houston, Texas also. Azaleas are in bloom all around town including those in our yard. So glad that you enjoyed learning about Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Thanks for the votes, 5 star rating and the share.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      6 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      Crater Lake is so beautiful - saw it in 2010, and was amazed at the beautiful color of the lake. Great hub with wonderful pictures and lots of good information - voted up++

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      The photos and scenery on the videos is so beautiful! You are so lucky to have seen them firsthand! I've never been to Oregon.

      I can't even imagine 50 feet of pumice or a lake more than a thousand feet deep. Learned a lot from this hub. Wish I could get into the car right now and go there, although it would probably be nicer in 2 or 3 months when the weather warms up. With spring already sprung here in North Texas, I forget sometimes that it's still winter up North.

      Voted up, BAUI, and will share! Oh, and I always almost forget to mention that I gave you 5 more stars.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sweetie,

      Crater Lake is truly beautiful in color because of it being one of the deepest lakes in the world. So glad that you liked these photos. I appreciate your comment, vote and the share. Thanks!

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 

      6 years ago from India

      Very beautiful pictures. Really loved the lake. And your niece is cute too. voted up and shared.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi again Photoshark,

      What a nice job you have...that of taking photos for a living. It is a hobby with me but I have loved taking pictures ever since I got my first Brownie camera as a youngster. Have been taking photos ever since. I love my new digital camera! Unlike you, I have never had a really expensive camera with all of the various lens, filters and such. Would be fun, however! Will look forward to viewing more of your photos in hubs.

    • Photoshark317 profile image

      Leroy Brown 

      6 years ago from Lafayette Orgon

      Well I lived on Lake Michigan for nearly twenty years. Seen Lake Tahoe and Hetch Hetchy. I don't just like taking pictures it's my job thanks for the comment:)

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Photoshark317,

      I take it from your name that you like taking photos. You will LOVE Crater Lake National Park!!! The colors are amazing! Nice that you live as close as you do to Oregon's only national park. Well worth a visit! Thanks for your comment.

    • Photoshark317 profile image

      Leroy Brown 

      6 years ago from Lafayette Orgon

      It's definitely on my list. And it's doable since I live in Oregon

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brian Burton,

      So glad that you liked this hub about Crater Lake National Park. It is truly pretty! Thanks for your comment.

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 

      7 years ago

      Wow, so pretty. Very interesting article : )

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello crater lake national park,

      We also loved visiting Crater Lake for all the reasons you just listed. It is an amazing site! Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      crater lake national park 

      8 years ago

      There are many site i have opened but this one is very nice. I love Crater Lake National Park because it contains America’s deepest lake (almost 700 meters or 2000 feet in depth) which is known around the world for its beautiful, deep blue color. Also it offers numerous overlooks and access to walking trails.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Website Examiner,

      Actually this was one of my earlier hubs and I'll probably go back in and re-scan the pictures and perhaps add more when I get time, but thanks for the compliment.

      Will definitely go and read your hub about copyright protection. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 

      9 years ago

      In response to your forum thread question, I wrote a hub on proactive copyright protection. I have lived in Oregon but never had the opportunity to visit Crater Lake. Beautiful and well-written hub.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You won't be sorry, Chelsea. It is absolutely gorgeous!

    • profile image

      Chelsea H 

      10 years ago

      I think it's funny I've lived here 4 years now and still haven't made an effort to go here. After reading this It's about time I stop goofing around and go!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Lucky you! to have been there more than once.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Brought back many memories of having been there several times as a kid on family vacations.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Go! See! The entire state of Oregon is gorgeous! Intend to write more about our trip there. I am breaking it up because one blog would be entirely too long.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • B.T. Evilpants profile image

      B.T. Evilpants 

      10 years ago from Hell, MI

      Those photos are gorgeous! This is one of the places I've always wanted to see.

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