"OREGON"S FIRST NATIONAL PARK" Top 5 Page for this destination Crater Lake National Park by mtncorg
Crater Lake National Park Travel Guide: 149 reviews and 440 photos
Oregon had only one 'National Park' for a long time. There is a 'Volcanic National Park' at Newberry Crater-Paulina near Bend - also a collapsed volcano like here with two smaller lakes within the old crater. And there is the curiosity that is the Lewis and Clark National Park near Astoria on the coast - really an amalgam of State Parks and a National Historic Site that have been thrown into one tent.
There is plenty of other terrain that could probably be serving of the status, but it is probably better the way it is. National Parks have a way of attracting too much attention to a fragile piece of wilderness. By maintaining large tracts of 'wilderness' areas, the Federal government is probably performing a more useful method of protecting what we have.
Crater Lake is not unique, even in Oregon - see the newer Newberry Crater National Park. It is, however, the best example of a huge volcano that has imploded in on itself. Orginally, Mt Mazama, in size, was on the order of the nearby much younger Mt Shasta, in California. With time, the mountain collapsed on itself, leaving a huge basin - caldera - within which water collected forming the lake. The lake is almost 2000 feet deep with cliffs rising another 2000 feet above.
The Park's activities are mainly located on the rim of the crater, especially in the SW corner of the rim next to the restored lodge. The drive around the rim, either from the car or on bike, is a highlight. To witness the lake from a myriad of viewpoints is to better appreciate the lake. There are several outstanding hikes of fairly short duration off the Rim Road you can take to even more spectacular views: the Watchman, Mt Scott or Garfield Peak. You can take a boat tour from Cleetwood Cove, accessed by a mile trail from the Rim Road above at the NW corner of the lake. Go early in the day if you can. Boat tours are usually finshed when Labor Day weekend is over, the first Monday in September.
Remember, though, that the elevation is at 7000 feet - actually higher than the ski areas on Mt Hood - Timberline Lodge - and as such, the entire Rim Road does not clear off until late in the summer and then for a short time only, as winter returns early up here.
- Pros:Fantastic Lake and super study in Volcanism
- Cons:Short season and with lots of late snow lying around
- In a nutshell:How do they make that water so Blue?!
The Clark's Nutcracker is a pretty little bird that is probably bolder, in general, thatn even a blue jay, which says... more travel advice
Atop this peak, 1.7 miles from the Rim Village, you gain some of the grandest views of the Lake. Wizard Island and the... more travel advice
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