Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crater Lake National Park

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon contains astounding scenery - the kind that nearly knocks you over. I had been to the Pacific Northwest several times, but never got around to seeing Crater Lake. It was always a bit out of my way, and it was a one-trick pony. Of course, I had heard about how blue and beautiful the lake is, but I tend to be a skeptic. In 2004, I finally visited the park since we were traveling from Portland, Oregon to California on a trip that would also include Lassen Volcanic National Park and a repeat visit to Redwood National Park. I couldn't skip a National Park when I was that close to it. As it turned out, I was very glad I did not skip it this time.

Crater Lake is a mountain lake that rests in the collapsed volcanic cone of Mount Mazama in the Cascade Mountain Range. There is a road that runs around the lake, and entrance roads connect to it from the north, west, and south. We entered the park from the north and drove for a while. After driving for several not-so-scenic miles, we arrived at the Rim Road and started in a clockwise direction. We first saw the lake from the Grouse Hill pull-off. We were astounded. Guidebooks use words like heart-stopping and breath-taking, but nothing can prepare you for your first sight of Crater Lake.  It really is as blue as people say. The pictures do not do it justice; this is one thing you really need to see for yourself.

We continued around the lake, looking at it from various angles.  On the east side of the lake, a trail to the top of Mount Scott gives a nice view from high above the lake. There is also a road in the southeast that goes to the Pinnacles Overlook, but we did not take it. After our Mount Scott hike, we continued around the lake until we reached our starting point, then backtracked to leave from the south. It is possible to take a commercial boat out to Wizard Island, but I believe it is a sacrilege to put anything with a motor on such a beautiful clear lake. I would not have gone even if I had the time.

Though we only spent a day at Crater Lake, it is a day I will remember.

My visit: August 2004

No comments:

Post a Comment