Last week my sister and I went to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. This is in an extensive post about the lake and our experience driving around it.
First, look at the blue of the lake. My sister asked me, "Do you think that is colbalt blue?" I said, "That is Crater Lake Blue! That is what I think of when I see a gorgeous super deep sapphire color blue...Crater Lake.
We entered the park at the south entrance and drove to the east side of the crater and drove the 33 mile loop.
There are lots of hiking trails in the park and around the lake and some day I want to go back and hike some of them. We did a very short one by Wizard Island, which was beautiful.
Our first stop was Kerr Notch or Phantom Ship Overlook. From this overlook you can see a small island in the lake that looks like a ship.
From the plaque at the overlook: Pumice Castle Overlook, shaped like the battlements of a castle, formed when pumice and other lavas welded together at high temperatures. These air-fall deposits were buried and compacted by later flows and exposed when Mount Mazama collapsed a hardened base has kept the Pumice Castle intact as softer materials have eroded away.
After reading this stop and reading about the volcano we realized that there used to be a mountain here and the volcano exploded and now there is a gorgeous blue lake. So fascinating.
The drive out to the next overlook Cloudcap Overlook was so beautiful. (See post Share my world- Crater Lake- Landscape around the lake)
It was super cold and windy at the overlook and we didn't stay long. I got this picture of the lake and then the picture of the snow angel as we were driving back to the main road. Even in July the elevation is so high that there are still patches of snow.
At Skell Head there was construction and I got this picture shooting right into the rising sun.
The sun was coming up and showing the beautiful blue of the lake
Palisade Point overlook had pretty flowers! I really enjoyed seeing all the plants as we made our way around the rim. It is amazing that they survive in the harsh conditions and even thrive and add beauty to an already gorgeous place.
Cleetwood Cove is at the north side of the crater has some cool shots down into the lake.
Pumice Point was my one of my favorite stop on the route I got some great pictures of Lloa Rock. Llao Rock rises nearly 2,000 feet above the water and is the highest vertical precipice on the rim and is named for a Native America god. You can also see Wizard Island on the right side of the lake from this viewpoint.
We got out and and climbed out on to the ledge and took pictures too.
As we left Pumice Point we started making our way down the west side of the crater. We encountered many more people on your journey. I took a picture for a couple that was biking the rim (wow!) and talked with a couple from San Francisco on holiday as they were enjoying coffee and watching the sunrise from their car camping set up.
We also spent a good amount of time at Watchman's Overlook
The watchman observation station and Watchman trail are located on the summit of Watchman Peak at an elevation of 8,025 feet on the west rim. It was constructed in the 1930s to serve as an interpretive/educational center and fire lookout.
I captured the beautiful gold of the sunrise on the lake.
Since I was shooting into the sun I also got some cool silhouettes of the rock formations at the pull out.
Wizard's overlook is named for the view of the famous Wizard Island that you can see from the overlook.
Thanks to a suggestion from the car camping couple my sister and I did a short hike right by this overlook.This also allowed us to see more floral and fauna and see the lake from a higher elevation.
Discovery Point which I feel allows for a classic view of Crater Lake.
Sinnott Memorial Overlook is located by the visitor's center has amazing views of the lake and shore line. It also has a building and small natural history museum. It was dedicate to Nicholas J. Sinnott who was chairman of the House Public Lands committee in the US House of Representatives for the state of Oregon from 1913- 1928.
From Sinnott Memorial Overlook we walked along the path to Crater Lake Lodge. It was a beautiful path.
A view from the Crater Lake Lodge and inside. It felt like a ski holiday in July!
Go before the park opens. It is free (otherwise it is $25 per vehicle) and there are very few people and you can pull into any overlook!
Be there when there is full sun so you get to see the gorgeous blue color of the lake!
Plan for at least 3+ hours to drive around the whole rim if you would like to stop often and take pictures.
Prepare for the cold, even in July!
Crater Lake is the only National Park in Oregon.
Crater lake is made from the remains of Mount Mazama which erupted 7,700 years ago and gets it's water from rain and snowfall.
The park has 90 miles of trials.
It can be closed from mid-October to June because of snow, which can be 44 feet deep.
I had a wonderful visit to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and hope you enjoyed the journey around the rim of the crater with me.