The drive to Crater Lake was uneventful. I did still stop at any views, which this route consisted of stopping to take some pictures of the Sprague River and the tree lines.
First things first, I needed to find a campsite. Depending on the time of year you visit Crater Lake there may, or may not, be snow, and possibly a lot of it. Mazama Village is the campground that is in the National Park. There are a lot of sites there, but there was also a decent amount of snow still on the ground. That meant that not all campsites were open, and the ones that were open, weren’t all completely free of snow. Each site, in theory, would have a bear box, a fire pit, and a picnic bench. After driving through each of the 5 loops I decided on a site that I could access the bear box. I didn’t NEED access to the table or the firepit. Then I went to the Village store and bought some food for dinner, after registering myself at that site, and set up the first official campsite of my trip.
The following morning, I packed up all my camping stuff and headed up to the top! P.S. it was 40 degrees outside when I woke up!
Crater Lake wasn’t always a lake. 7,700+ years ago Mount Mazama was one of the larger peaks in the Cascades at approximately 12,000 feet. Mt. Mazama was a volcano which, like most volcanoes, has years of activity and years being dormant. During the dormant years, glaciers would form from the snow, which would shape the mountain and surrounding areas. During one of it’s active times, Mt. Mazama exploded (42 times larger than Mt. St. Helens in 1980), but not in a typical fashion; it exploded through the sides of the mountain and did so for days. Eventually, the top 5,000 feet of the mountain had no support and within 2-3 hours the top of the mountain collapsed, leaving a 4,000 feet deep and 6 mile wide caldera. Shortly after there were a few “mini” eruptions as well.
Crater Lake came to be from years of snow and rainfall filling the caldera. This created the lake that we know today. One of the mini eruptions was the creation of Wizard Island.
- Clarity is measured at 134 feet
- The lake stays that clear because there are no rivers or streams, which would introduce particles and sediment, going into or out
- Average snowfall of 44 feet
- 1,943 feet deep, which is the 9th deepest in the world
- By the average depth of the lake it is 3rd in the world
- There are no native fish to the lake (because of how it was created) but it was stocked by the first visitors, so fishing is not only allowed but encouraged even without a license
- They are currently proposing adding many new trails to the park including 4 winter trails and many more summer ones
PEOPLE I MET:
Beverly & Fred
While I was getting my Jr. Ranger badge (see more below), a woman overheard me explaining the basis of my trip and asked if she could talk to me after I was done. Of course I said yes.
After I had finished, I met Beverly and her husband Fred. They were from a smaller city in New York and she wrote for the local newspaper. She wanted to interview me!!! We talked for about an hour and a half and learned a LOT about each other! I open you guys enjoy Alaska!! We exchanged contact info and went on our way. She is sending a copy of the article to my parents and I will be sure to add a post once I have the article!!
** Unfortunately I didn’t think about taking a picture of Beverly and Fred, but I will be asking them for one and uploading it here when I receive one 🙂
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is the clearest lake in the United States.
Unfortunately when I visited Crater Lake a majority of Rim Road was closed due to snow. I was still EXTREMELY impressed. I had always been told that it was BLUE but I didn’t have any idea how blue until I was there. It really is “Bluer than Blue”.
After looking at the views, I went into the Visitor’s Center to read the information, watch the video, and get my Jr. Ranger book. When I was younger, I would get these book, complete them and then go back to a ranger and get a badge at all the facilities that the NPS operates (monuments, parks, etc). This was one of the most valuable things to me, because I learned a lot more than just what I got from the Visitor’s Center, or on hikes/interpretive trails. When I decided to do this trip that was one thing I really wanted to do, but they are designed for children. Well I guess I’m a child at heart still so of course I’m getting them 😍
These are the items I’m collecting from each Park: my Junior Ranger book/badge, the map and a postcard!
Weird question, and let’s see if anyone knows the answer, because I’m not going to look it up. Does snow melt from the bottom (see picture below) and why? Is it because the ground is warmer? Is it that the water is flowing down through the snow and just appearing to come out the bottom?
I also think might have found the only gas pump in Oregon that you can do yourself:
NEXT TIME at Crater Lake: I will make sure that rim road is open, so I can drive around the whole lake. I would also like to take a boat out on the lake, which was also closed due to snow. Lastly the wildflowers have a short lifespan there, but I’d love to see them.
Be sure to see all pictures from Part one.
Next up, the Portland area!!!!