Crater Lake National Park Oregon

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Crater Lake National Park Oregon is the deepest lake (1,943 feet) in the United States. It is also one of the ten deepest lakes in the world. This lake sits inside a volcanic crater. Crater Lake's formal name is Mount Mazama. Mount Mazama is a volcano that last erupted 7,700 years ago.

When it erupted, the caldera filled up with rain water and melted snow and is now called, Crater Lake. Every year, a half a million visitors come here.

Crater Lakes water only comes from the snow melt and rainfall. No rivers or streams, feed into this lake. Clean rain and snow melt is what contributes to the clarity of the water that fills Crater Lake. In fact, this lake is rated the cleanest large body of water in the world!

Before this volcano erupted, Mount Mazama stood 12,000 feet high. Now, its 6,175 feet high. The crater is six miles wide. This deep blue lake is surrounded by 2,000 foot high mountains. It is a scenic drive around the crater on the 33 mile Rim Road. Take advantage of the several pullouts to stop and take in the views.

Boat Rides

Zack And Glenn On The Boat At Crater Lake National Park Oregon

Out in Crater Lake is a cinder cone that is an island. The island is called Wizard Island and is 765 feet above the lakes water. You can hike down to the lake from the rim and take a boat ride out to the island. They will leave you on the island for three hours. When they pick you up, the boat takes you around the perimeter of the lake and gives you a nice history talk about the volcano and the lake. You can get off the boat and hike to the top of the cinder cone. A boat ride to the island is worth taking.

Crater Lake Posters

Scuba Diving

Crater Lake National Park Oregon is an excellent place to scuba dive. The water is clear and calm. The lake is no longer stocked with fish. However, there are still kokanee salmon and rainbow trout fish in the lake. Because this lake is the crater of a once active volcano, seeing inside the lake is really seeing inside a volcano.

There are talus slopes, volcanic cones and landslides inside crater lake. You need to get a permit from the parks headquarters before scuba diving in the lake. Wear a wet suite because the water is cold. The temperatures range from below 40 degrees to a high of 58 degrees. We were amazed that the water is so clear. If fact, there are parts of the lake you can clearly see down 130 feet from the surface!

Our Crater Lake National Park Pictures

Why Is Crater Lake Water So Clear?

No lakes or streams feed sediment,silt or other pollutions into the lake. The volcano is dormant, so no gas leaks into the lake. This makes the water in Crater Lake transparent and very clear. And it taste really good when you drink it :)


There are two islands inside of Crater Lake. One is Wizard Island and the other is the Phantom Ship. You can walk around Wizard Island. There is a boat ride that will take you out to Wizard Island. They will leave you there for 3 hours and then come back and pick you up.

The Phantom Ship is just an island to look at. And of course, the island looks like a pirate ship! If you hike the Garfield Peak Trail, pullout on the Rim Drives Phantom Ship Overlook Point, or take the boat ride in Crater Lake, you will get a perfect view of the Phantom Ship. The Phantom Ship is not an island that you can get out and explore on. But it is fun to take pictures of :)

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Wizard Island

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Phantom Ship

Crater Lake National Park Hiking

Glenn Loves Hiking At Crater Lake National Park Oregon

Crater Lake has some of the best hiking trails of all US National Parks. There are more than 100 marked hiking trails (totally 90 miles of trails) waiting for you. There are hiking trails that will take you to lookout points around the craters rim, trails leading around the rim and trails up the surrounding mountains. Mount Scott is 8,929 feet and the highest point you can hike to in the park. And, it's a popular hike.

Backcountrybicycling America's National Parks Oregon and Washington: The Best Road and Trail Rides from Crater Lake to Olympic National Park

Crater Lake National Park Lodging

Lexi At Crater Lake Lodge

We stayed just outside the National Park. But there is camping, the Crater Lake Lodge and the Cabins at Mazama Village if you want to stay in the park. Even if you don't stay at the Crater Lake Lodge, it is worth going in and looking around :) It is a beautiful hotel.

Crater Lake National Park Weather And Rim Road

From about October to May this place is deep in snow. With an average snowfall of more than 44 feet, this place perfect for those who like to snowshoe.

Crater Lake Rim road is partially closed when it is snowing. You can still visit the park, you just can't drive all the way around the rim when it's snowing. Boat rides on the lake are not available when it is snowing.

Crater Lake, Oregon, weather forecast

Crater Lake Trolly

If you don't want to drive around the rim of the crater, you can take a historic trolley tour around the rim. The trolly ride is 2 hours and has a guide to tell you all the important things about Crater Lake. The trolly will stop at designated lookout points for you to get off the trolly and take in the scenery and to take pictures.

Crater Lake National Park Map

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The Visitor's Center

The Visitor's Center shows a nice 18 minute film about Crater Lake. They also have a nice gift shop.

Astronomy Night Sky At Crater Lake National Park Oregon

Crater Lake has some of the cleanest air in the United States. So breath deeply when you are here! The Lake is not polluted with city lights and therefore make for fantastic viewing of the night sky. We pulled our car out in a lookout point on Rim Road and spent a couple of hours laying out and watched the stars. We saw so many shooting stars! This is a great place to watch the night skies.

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