Crater Lake National Park Things to Do Tips by mtncorg Top 5 Page for this destination
Crater Lake National Park Things to Do: 90 reviews and 204 photos
Dutton Cliff, the Phantom Ship and South Rim
Drive or Bike around the Rim Road. It is a 33 mile road that circles the rim of the caldera. There are lots of pulloffs, where you can go and appreciate a new and different view of the lake and its blueness. Snow levels will vary the season the road is open from year to year. It is usually July to mid-October.
There are several picnic areas along the road and most of the best trails in the park come off the road too: the Watchman, Garfield Peak and Mt Scott.
Address: Rim of Crater Lake
Directions: Off Oregon 62 in the south and Oregon 230 in the north
Llao Rock from Merriam Point
On the 33 mile drive looping around the caldera rim the lake is everchanging as you make your way around on the road. Consider time of day and direction of your view to maximize contrast and color when shooting your pictures.
Llao Rock is named after the Indian God of the Under World. In a battle of Titans, Skell, the God of the Above World, killed and dismemebered Llao, leaving his body here and putting his head and shoulders out in the Lake = Wizard Island.
Boats at Cleetwood Cove on Crater Lake
From the NE corner of the Rim Road, you take the trail down one mile to Cleetwood Cove. From there, you can take a boat tour lasting 1 3/4 hours which takes you around the lake, visiting both Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship. I recommend getting here early as it can get crowded. If you wanted to make a day of it, take food and water along one of the first boats - usually around 830 - and get off at Wizard Island. This is a little volcano that rose up form the caldera of the old Mt Mazama. It is not the only cone to do so, but it is the only one to rise above the lake surface. One trail will take you to the top of the island's cone - 6940 feet/2116m - the lake surface is 6176 feet/1882m. Another trail takes you to Fumerole Bay. There are a few introduced trout in the lake which have not thrived since there is not much for them to eat due to the vast depths of the lake. It is around here you might catch one though. If you get off on Wizard Island, be prepared to stay for awhile though as you won't be able to get back on one of the boats until there is room and many of the tours through the middle part of the day stay full. Boats run from July to early September.
Address: Cleetwood Cove
Directions: NW corner of the lake. Take the Cleetwood Trail 1 mile down to the lake - 800 feet below.
Phantom Ship and The South Rim
This is an extension of the Dutton Cliffs which rise awesomely to the South Rim above the lake. It is a favorite item for photographers both from the Rim above and from the boat tour below.
Address: Crater Lake
Directions: Take the boat tour from Cleetwood cove or see it from the many pulloffs along the Rim Road above.
Ahoy there, be there Spirits about?!
Unlike Wizard Island - a volcano within a volcano - Phantom Ship is a 160 foot high piece of an old volcanic dike - a rock layer more impervious to erosion than layer surrounding it. There are many dikes visible along the cliffs of the Lake, but only one Phantom Ship.
Directions: Out in the Lake on the south side below Dutton Cliffs.
Rim Village classic view of Wizard Island
This is the centerpoint for touristic activity in the Park. A summertime buzz of cars, people, ice cream cones and squirrels looking for handouts. The restored Crater Lake Lodge is here along with the ubiquitous Gift Shop and Cafeteria and a summertime Visitor Center. One of the best hikes, the 1.7 mile trail to Garfield Peak, start from here too.
Photo opportunity presents atop Garfield Peak
Atop this peak, 1.7 miles from the Rim Village, you gain some of the grandest views of the Lake. Wizard Island and the Watchman are to the west - left - and straight below is the little Phantom Ship over which towers the Dutton Cliffs and Mt Scott beyond and just off the Rim to the east.
Wizard Island from near the Watchman
Rising 764 feet above the lake, Wizard Island - shaped as a sorcer's hat - is a classic cinder cone that formed after the collapse of Mt Mazama. The small crater atop Wizard Island impressed an early Oregon newsman enough for him to coin the name "Crater Lake'. You can take dayhikes on the island from the boat tours and there is a little fishing in and among the little islands on the north side of the Island. Fish used to be stocked in the Lake but that was stopped years ago. The lake is simply too deep and the fish had nothing to eat. Those that have survived are mostly found around Wizard Island.
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