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The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park, in southern Oregon, is a rare and breathtaking natural wonder. The lake was created almost 8,000 years ago when the collapse of the Mt. Mazama volcano formed a 6-mile-wide volcanic basin. Melted snowfall filled the basin with freshwater and Crater Lake was born.

At nearly 2,000 feet deep Crater Lake is the deepest body of freshwater in the United States and the ninth-deepest lake in the world. An impressive 20-mile ring of cliffs encloses the basin and adds to the magnificence of the lake. The area is also home to virgin old-growth forests, made up primarily of various conifers such as pine, hemlock, and fir, as well as several varieties of deciduous trees. Many of the meadows come alive with colorful wildflowers during the short summer season, roughly June through October, when the park is not covered in snow.

Because area snows averaging 44 feet per year affect road and facility closures--including whether visitors can get gasoline within 60 miles of the park--it helps to call in advance to understand weather conditions and prepare adequately if you plan to visit between September and June.

The park contains more than 90 miles of hiking trails, including part of the Pacific Crest Trail and two trails on Wizard Island, the larger of the lake's two islands, accessible by boat through park concessioners. Visitors can also take an auto tour of Rim Drive, the 33-mile road that circles the lake, for stunning views of the lake from every direction.

Crater Lake National Park, located in the Cascade Mountain Range, is a remarkable and beautiful site. It is well worth planning ahead to explore this remote area of the American Northwest.

crla.jpg

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Bob

October 5, 2014

When I was a kid, the family, mom, dad, sister & myself hiked down to the lake. Going down was easy, climbing back up..... That was more them 55 years ago. I was around 10 give or take. So much fun. Now at 64 don't think I would do it. Beautiful.

Bev

December 5, 2013

While in college I lived there for 2 summers. Once a geologist from Norway was visiting to do research. The lake had been socked in with fog for the whole week he was there, but as I talked to him at the cafeteria one day, trying to explain the drama of its view, we heard a collective "Aahhh" from people gathered outside. As they ran to the guard wall, he did as well. Fog lifted, the lake shimmered below, and no one spoke. Within a few moments the bowl of its rim embraced the fog once again, and people returned to their milling about. The man said to me then "It was worth my trip. I am awestruck." This is one powerful place, sacred to local native Americans, I feel it's sacred to me as well.

bobmiller

September 6, 2013

I lived in southern Oregon for several years and visited Crater lake NP many times. The drive to get there is worth the visit alone. Wildflowers abound. The color of the water has to be SEEN to believe. The rim drive is astounding with spectacular vistas. And in winter........ it is AMAZING. If I know someone is going to be any where neat CLNP I STRONGLY recommend they visit!

Kim

September 5, 2013

When my family made it to the first lookout, on the rim and we walked over for the view, there was a collective gasp at the sheer and pristine beauty of the lake. There were quite a few other onlookers and I noticed no one was talking, all of them too busy gaping at the view. Crater National Park is truly one of the top five must see parks in America.

Warren

September 5, 2013

About sixty years ago, on a long leave before reporting to my next duty station, a Navy ship, I stopped to visit Crater Lake. It was the middle of summer and I was hot and sweaty from the walk down to the small pier. Several people were gathered there, enjoying the view and sharing their experiences. I took my T-shirt off and sat down to rest a while and chat. Someone had a cup and was drinking from the lake. They loaned me the cup so I quenched my thirst from the unpolluted water of Crater Lake. Then I swished my hand in the water, it felt pleasant, so I took off my shoes and socks and dove in. Surprise!! A few inches below the surface and I was instantly cooled off. It was very cold. I haven't returned to the lake, but I wonder if the conditions that I experienced have remained as I found them.

SusanB

June 15, 2013

Have been to the lake twice and, despite being moderately disabled, finally made it down to the lake itself last August. Every step taken was difficult and it took me 3 hours down and 4 hours up BUT I made it (be very sure to use the restroom before embarking as there are no facilities along the way). Oh what a beautiful sight and experience! I could have stayed for days at water's edge to enjoy the pristine and fabulously crystal-clear blue water. I found several trails to be quite "user friendly" and offer incredible views found nowhere else. Do call ahead to check on the weather as it can be VERY different from the lower elevations; just a few hundred feet in elevation can make a real difference in the visibility/accessibility. This is nature at it's breathtaking best. Go!

glitchy

May 14, 2012

it is pretty amazing and breathtaking

Jimmer

April 27, 2012

Breathtakingly beautiful! So much so, we are coming back for another visit in June 2012!

Barrybenjamin

November 10, 2011

I love Crater Lake NP. It is a breathtaking view once you get to the 'rim'. I was there on June 7, 2008 and was greeted by snow on the ground of over a foot deep. It is a must see in anyone's lifetime.

Medivacpilot

November 10, 2011

Oregons only National Park and by far a must see location. A winter wonderland and a summer delight. Whether you bicycle, or motorcycle around the rim of this creater you will never see another set of unique images anywhere else in the United States.

Cherie

November 10, 2011

A local, I try to get to Crater as often as possible, usually bringing friends and family, amazing them. Was just there 2 weeks ago and, although the temp was in the high 70's--t-shirt/sandal weather, there were still large patches of snow! And mosquitoes! That's a new one for me--take lots of repellent. The trails are excellent, the view can't be beat. The water is crystal clear however there were also large swirls of yellow on the surface--pollen! The water is so clear that rocks that appear only a few feet below are actually a hundred feet from the surface. Sorry--no private boats alloweed... no scuba diving. You hike down to take a private launch to Wizard Island--the hike back up to the rim is a killer! But worth it. If you haven't been there, put it on your life list of places you want to visit!

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