There are plenty of places in the US that are beautiful and breathtaking. You can go to Big Bend in Texas, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or just about any other national park you can think of off the top of your head. But, can you say that you’ve ever been to a national park that houses a lake that was formed by a volcano? Now that’s something you should check off of your bucket list. Crater Lake National Park, located about 4 hours South of Portland, Oregon, has exactly that and you will be amazed at the scenery and landscape of this beautiful natural occurrence.
In Oregon, there are mountains just about everywhere you turn, and Crater Lake is an exciting destination to consider if you are a geology buff. The lake itself was formed by a volcano that some 7,700 years ago became stagnant. There are no rivers or streams that are connected to Crater Lake so you have some of the cleanest, bluest waters you have ever seen. The only way for water to get to the lake is via precipitation and the melting of snow during the warmer months. The park is open year round, but during the cooler months, there are severe limitations and closures. Traveling there between June and October is recommended in order to experience the lake and park at its finest.
What’s there to do at Crater Lake?
If you’re a fisherman, they allow unlicensed fishing and there’s plenty of Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow Trout in the lake. They also allow swimming in the lake, as well, and you’ll definitely remember the experience of taking a dip in the blue waters. For the hiking enthusiasts in your party, they’ll love the many hiking trails in the park. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of them:
- Cleetwood Cove – A 1-mile long, 11% graded hike that leads up to the lake and ends on a rock where you can dive-jump into the lake!
- The Watchmen – A .8 mile hiking trail that takes you to see breathtaking views of Wizard Lake and Crater Lake
- Garfield Peak – A 1.7 mile hike up to Garfield Summit to view the changing colors of Crater Lake as the sun moves overhead.
If spending time in the forest with your loved ones is your idea of a good time, then you’ll be pleased with the 50,000 acres of old-growth forests. You’ll experience the beauty of the Northwest first hand and you may not want to come home.
There are no RV campsite within Crater Lake National Park, but you’re in luck. Just outside of the entrance you will find a few RV parks that are just a quick drive to the park itself.
Next time you’re wondering where you want to take a much needed vacation and want to have a one of a kind experience, consider Crater Lake National Park. You won’t be disappointed!