Photos from Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is a bucket-list item. The spectacular volcanic crater turned lake is about 5 hours south of Portland or 2 hours from Medford, OR. On our Oregon roadtrip, we chose Medford as our overnight stop before driving into Crater Lake National Park but the town of Ashland would have been a good choice too.
Chilly photo stop:
The first thing we noticed on our drive to Crater Lake and when we jumped out of the car- it was a good 20 degrees cooler than in Medford. The car temperature read 38 degrees at 9:30am down from 58 when we left Medford.
The first photo stop on the 33 miles drive around Crater Lake was at Sun Notch- a quick quarter mile hike from the road. The rock formation is called Phantom Ship but I think it looks like a castle. This was my first look at the crystal-clear Crater Lake.
The Visitors Center is located on the South side of Crater Lake. We stopped in to learn a little bit about how it was formed. It was Mt. Mazama– a volcano. Eventually a catastrophic eruption 7700 years ago caused the volcano to collapse. Rainwater and melted snow filled the cauldron. No streams run into Crater Lake and only a minimal amount trickles out through the crevices.
Crater Lake is in the middle of nowhere, there are not a lot of options for lodging other than camping. Camping would be very chilly this time of year. The Crater Lake Lodge is a great choice to stay in Crater Lake National Park but it fills quickly and is on the pricier side. Crater Lake is open year-round but some roads are only open from the late Spring to early fall, the Lodge closes mid-October, and the boats that go out into Crater Lake run less frequently in October than they do in September. On the plus side, hardly anyone was visiting the park the day we did our drive! (Crater Lake Lodge was still booked full).
Sparkles in the clear, blue water:
My favorite stops on the 33 miles drive around Crater Lake were Sun Notch (my very first stop), the unnamed stop overlooking Steel Bay with the sparkles in the water, and Discovery Point (our very last stop). I hiked the short 1 mile Sun Notch trail and the longer, more strenuous Watchman’s Peak trail. The views were pretty good up there but I wish it could have been sunrise or sunset when I was up there. It was my only opportunity to get most of Crater Lake into one picture.
We ended our drive at Crater Lake Lodge around 1:30pm ravenously hungry. Mom ordered fish and chips again (shocking) and I got soup and salad.
The food at the Lodge was pretty good as well as the view..
I’m saving my caloric intake today for dinner and beers at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR where we are eating tonight. The after lunch photo op at Crater Lake Lodge:
More from Oregon still to come!