Thursday, July 15, 2021

Crater Lake

Crater Lake's scenic Rim Drive is a 33 mile loop with more than 30 pullouts.  The drive could be made in an hour, they suggest allowing 2-3 hours, and we spent 4 hours on Weds.

We have had a couple of  hard weeks so we slept in and got an unusually late start.  With temperatures no longer in the 100's and mostly driving with no hikes today, we thought it was worth some extra rest.  When we arrived at the entrance booth at 10:30 there was a short line, but we weren't prepared for the large number of people we encountered throughout the day.

Crater lake is the 5th oldest National Park, gaining that distinction in 1902.  The lake rests in a caldera (volcanic crater) which occurred when a 12,000' volcano, Mount Mazama, erupted 7,700 years ago.  They are sure that it will erupt again but not for thousands of years.  It is the deepest lake at over 1900' in the U.S. and 9th deepest in the world.  It is supplied solely by rain and snow, no tributaries.  We were surprised to learn that Crater Lake was not discovered until the 1850's.

Normally it is very blue because it is very clean and deep.  We did not get to see that due to the smoke from two forest fires on either side of the park.

Wizard Island is a volcano that erupted 7,300 years ago.

Carefully, very carefully, I climbed among the rocks to reach the snow.

Llao rock is on the left and that is all that remains of Mount Mazama.

Amidst the smoke you could still see the reflection of the mountains and clouds in Crater Lake.

Cleetwood Clove Trail is the only access to the water.  Only 1 mile long it is very strenuous with a 700' drop.  And we all know what happens if you go down 700'. It is the quivalent of 65 flights of stairs back up! Although not operating this year, boat tours start here.  Swimming is allowed but the water is COLD.

Pumice Castle

Phantom Ship

The Pinnacles is reached via a 6 mile road off the Rim Trail.  Pinnacles Trail is a flat, easy walk to the park boundary.  Several overlooks allow you to see the 100' spires.  These fossil fumaroles (opening near a volcano where hot gases escape) were formed from the volcanic eruption.

Pinnacles Trail ends at the park boundary.  At one time they must have had a sign.

They were collecting rocks in a couple of spots.  Not sure if they had fallen on the road or they just had a purpose for them.

Upper portion of Vidae Falls that drops over 100'.

Lower portion of Vidae Falls.

Pearly Everlasting

We found an ice cream stand after we left the park.  My smoothy was welcomed.  Surprised and pleased they had almond milk. It was after 3 when we completed Rim Drive and although the temperature was at most 90° it felt pretty warm.  This area also had a restaurant, gift shop, and cabins.

Where are the Piepers now?  Crater Lake


  1. What a Wonderful Day, you really got out and enjoyed the area, Thanks for sharing your Adventure!

    1. It was a beautiful day. Where are you at now? I'm not sure we got your names. You know, for the next times our paths cross! Hope your RV has been fixed.

  2. What a Wonderful Day, you really got out and enjoyed the area, Thanks for Sharing the Adventure!