Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day Trip - Stop #2 - Crater Lake

Here we are at stop #2 on our day trip, Crater Lake.  Picture perfect, crystal clear, pristine and almost beyond belief are just a few ways in which to describe the wonder of Crater Lake. The 2-hour drive from Ashland, for the most part, follows the amazingly beautiful Rogue River and there are several places at which one can stop to soak up the cool flowing water of the Rogue and maybe even dip in your tootsies.

At an elevation of 7,100', the lake sits majestically high in the sky, it is 6 miles wide and it is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,940'. As the name suggests, the lake was formed after the volcanic eruption in 5,700 B.C. In 1902, the lake and 183,224 surrounding acres became part of the National Park system. On  average Crater Lake receives 44' (yes, that's forty-four feet) of snow but in 2011 the area surrounding the lake received a whopping 56' of snow. It can be fairly typical to still see mounds of snow through the summer months, as evidenced in these photos taken in June of 2011.

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 focus in on the fact that to get back up the trail it is a climb of 700' and the equivalent of climbing 65 flights of stairs. So, while the boat tour is sure to be spectacular, think twice before taking on those stairs!

There is a mountain-style 71-room lodge near the rim of the lake.  The large sitting area adjacent to the dining room has a massive fireplace. If the dining room is closed a lite late lunch can be ordered in the sitting area. After lunch be sure to take a few serene moments to take in the views while sitting in the rocking chairs, just outside the lodge and overlooking the lake. It doesn't get much better! Take a walk, drive the rim road, do a little gift shopping and maybe even spend the night if you planned ahead and reserved a room. Crater Lake is one of those amazing places where you can continue to stare for hours on end and never quite feel as if you truly saw it all.  Let me know when you're ready and we'll mosey on down the road to stop #3.

To read more:

Welcome!  I love the old wood timber lodge pole sign, don't you?
There is a gift shop cafe in another building, just out of this shot.  This is a photo of the lodge.
Inside the lodge common room.  Recognize anyone in this shot?
These rocking chairs are just outside the lodge common room.
It's a tough job, but someones got to do it!  That's Wizard Island on the left.


  1. On the road to Crater Lake is a widening of the road were Union Creek crosses the under the road. Along with a small motel like resort is a place called Beckies Cafe and converted gas station that is now an ice cream parlor. There was never any body named Beckie, her real name was Cecil. As ten year olds in the late fifties staying in the resort we passed the time between fishing by washing car wind shields for "Beckie" at her gas station. We were paid ten cents , which was exactly enough to pay for an ice cream cone at the cafe.

    45 years ago this August my wife and I honeymooned at Union Creek. Many fond memories on the road to Crater Lake.

  2. What a wonderful memory, thank you for sharing! And stay tuned for stop #3!