Visiting Crater Lake National Park

Last month my family and I had yet another epic road trip where we saw many sights in California and Oregon. This year we decided to just go with the flow and and stop at whatever interested us along the way. Despite having little itinerary there was one place I was really hoping to visit. Luckily, we fit it in and I can now proudly say I’ve been to Crater Lake National Park.

Though we were traveling in the early fall weather reports alerted us that the park had been hit with a snow storm and, for a time, the roads were blocked. What? As a Southern Californian I had not expected this news. Luckily, on the day we visited the temperature had risen and much of the snow was melting.

We decided to approach the park from the west by way of Medford and I was anticipating another white knuckled ride through windy forest roads to get to the lake. After all, it’s at the top of a mountain which involves an almost 5,000 feet elevation gain. Imagine, my surprise upon discovering a straight stretch of road with hardly any noticeable evidence of elevation gain! Most of the drive followed the Rogue River and we made a pit stop to take in the view.

It was near the end of salmon spawning season and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some swimming around. Folks around us were fishing and I felt far removed from SoCal.

Before we knew it,we arrived at Rim Village and made our way to the Discovery Point Trail that travels partly around the lake’s rim.

The view was simply breathtaking. It was a beautiful day and the scattered clouds reflected off the crystalline water of the enormous lake. Crater Lake is the result of a volcanic eruption over 7,000 year ago. In the ensuing years the crater was filled by rain water and snow melt resulting in a very pure, intensely blue lake. It’s also the deepest in the US reaching almost 2,000 feet in depth.

It’s a wonder to look at and I couldn’t help but take countless pictures. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife and I spotted some ridiculously cute ground squirrels just along the trail.

Also along the trail is Crater Lake Lodge, a historic hotel built in 1915.

Unfortunately, we weren’t spending the night but we did go and rest a bit in the cozy lobby.

After years of yearning I finally visited Crater Lake National Park. A true natural wonder, the lake was just as beautiful as I hoped it would be and I’m better off for having seen it.

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