If you look at Crater Lake National Park on a map, you may notice that it is off by itself, so a visit to this jewel-toned lake must be intentional. We based our visit out of Klamath Falls, OR. The stop was part of a trip to the Redwoods and San Francisco.
There is only one way to legally access Crater Lake. Cleetwood Cove Trail is 1.1 miles each way and leads down to the shore. Be forewarned, the hike back up the trail is strenuous! For a less demanding experience, drive along the rim drive (during the summer) and you can enjoy fabulous views at several pull outs.
Why Visit Crater Lake?
Is it worth going out of your way to see Crater Lake? Absolutely! Here are 3 reasons why:
- Crater Lake is unique. Crater Lake is unlike any other place I’ve visited. When you see a photo of Crater Lake, it’s hard to mistake it for someplace else. The brilliant lake is surrounded by steep cliffs – a truly spectacular combination.
- Crater Lake is really THAT blue! It is the most amazing and beautiful deep blue. I’m sure you’ve seen many photos, and yes, it really looks that blue in person! Why is it such an amazing color? The blue comes from a combination of the depth and purity of the water. This lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. at a depth of 1,943 feet! The water ranks as some of the cleanest water in the world! Crater Lake has no other bodies of water flowing into it. The water is from rain and snow melt, so you can even drink it (a big hit with my kiddo!)
- Crater Lake has a great backstory! While the lake rim is around 6700 feet, the top of the volcano used to be almost twice that elevation. Mount Mazama erupted violently and the remaining crater filled with snow melt and rain water to create the lake. Exhibits at the two park visitor centers as well as an exhibit tucked into the crater rim explain its history and formation. Crater Lake National Park Visitor Centers & Exhibits
While it may not be easy to get there, I most definitely think it is worth the time and effort. Whether you decide to stay at the park lodge on the rim or in a surrounding community, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this special place.
Want more information on Crater Lake National Park? Check out Crater Lake Must-See.