Crater Lake is a 2-hour drive from Ashland and much of the drive follows the beautiful Rogue River. It was a spectacularly clear blue sky kind of a day and the views were stunning! At 7,100' elevation, the lake sits majestically high in the sky. It is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,940' and as the name suggests, the lake was formed after the volcanic eruption in 5,700 B.C. On average Crater Lake receives 44' (yes, that's forty-four feet) of snow but this year the area surrounding the lake received a whopping 56' of snow. By this time of the year there is usually maybe a foot of snow left but as you can see by the photos, there is still a bit more on the ground. Beginning in July there are 2-hour boat tours available on the lake, but one must hike a trail down to the shore to board the boat. That may not sound too bad until you learn that to get back up the trail it is a climb of 700' and the equivalent of climbing 65 flights of stairs. It has been years (and years) since our last visit to Crater Lake and we've never been there when there was so much snow. Because of the walls of snow we weren't able to hike as much as we had hoped to, but it was still well-worth the drive.
There is a 71-room lodge near the rim of the lake and we enjoyed a late afternoon lunch near the massive fireplace. After lunch we enjoyed a few serene moments sitting in the rocking chairs and taking in the views. Crater Lake is one of those amazing places where you can continue to stare and never take it all in.
|Welcome to the park!|
|Uh... where's the door?|
|The lodge at the rim|
|The lodge fireplace|
|The beautiful lake and Wizard Island just to the left|
|Okay, seriously, does it get any better?!|
|Happy Father's Day!|