Crater lake is located in southern Oregon in Crater Lake National Park. I hope this blog educates people who don’t know what Crater Lake is, and hopefully gives more to the people who already know about it. It is a mostly circular lake with a cinder cone island near the western edge called Wizard island. Crater Lake used to be Mt. Mazama, an imposingly large volcano, which was most likely the largest in the area. That changed about 7,700 years ago when it erupted and since so much magma was discharged it left cavernous spaces below and collapsed in on itself, which then created a basin. The basin eventually filled up with water from rain and snow and the water level is kept in balance by evaporation, and seepage. It’s one of the cleanest lakes in the world because no rivers flow in or out. On good days, you might be able to see as far as 143 feet down into the depths of the lake.
During the winter, through till the end of June, everything is closed due to enormous amounts of snow. It is a hit or miss on actually seeing the lake because there is a phenomenal amount of fog that blankets the lake. Even though the snow and fog both contribute to visitors not being able to see the lake, they play a crucial role in keeping the lake level steady and feeding the forest around the lake. That’s why, when we were there, not many things were open.
The places that were open included the lodge, info centre, and shop. During the summer there are quite a few hiking trails, but in the winter they are all covered in snow. We saw other visitors with snowshoes, so maybe they are using the snow covered trails. We walked down one of the few plowed roads, it was closed to traffic and even though it doesn’t seem all that amazing, there was a great viewpoint partway along of Wizard island and the lake. Walking along the road was a great way to see how deep the snow actually gets and in some places it was piled up to four times my height! The lodge is a great place to take refuge when the weather is less than savoury. There is a campground, but only come between July and September because the rest of the year, it is snow covered and you would be sleeping on concrete without running water, and that is not fun at all when you,re in a tent. If I were to come back to Crater Lake, I would come early September when people are just going back to school and it’s still warm and lacking snow, but I really enjoyed it in the winter, aka June!