Thursday, June 19, 2014

Crater Lake National Park


August 2009

No, is the answer to most people's first question when they see pictures of Crater Lake: is the water really that blue? It is actually bluer than the pictures! Going to Crater Lake National Park had been a dream since I first saw a picture in a book I received as a present in 1980 about our National Parks. It took 29 years, but we finally visited the remote park in Oregon. We arrived after the sun set, so we had to wait until the following morning to see the lake. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of the deep blue really takes your breath away.

Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon, whose primary feature is Crater Lake. This National Park was established on May 22, 1902, and it is the sixth oldest National Park in the U.S. This park encompasses the Crater Lake caldera, which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano (eventually named Mount Mazama) and the surrounding forestland and hills. This is the only National Park in Oregon.

Above, Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone which forms an island at the west end of Crater Lake. The top of the island reaches 6,933 feet (2,113 m) above sea level, about 755 feet (230 m) above the average surface of the lake. The cone is capped by a volcanic crater about 500 feet (150 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep.

Below, Mount Scott is the highest point in the park:

The Phantom Ship:

Wizard Island and Crater Lake at dusk:

Mount Thielsen (9,184ft.) rises beyond the rim:

Rim Drive is a 33 mile road that circles the entire lake. At it's lowest point, you are still 700 feet above the surface of the water. To get down to the lake's edge, you only have two choices: descend the one mile long Cleetwood Cove Trail or fall to you probable death.

Below is a picture of the cliff that the trail descends from the road:

At the bottom of the trail is a dock where you can ride a boat tour around the lake. Advance reservations are a must and we made ours months in advance. Refering to the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the parks literature states: "It is not accessible for visitors with mobility impairments". Knowing that I would be taking Kellisa on this trail, I called the park for a clarification before arriving. I was told that mobility devices were not allowed. I figured the only thing that would stop me from getting Kellisa to the bottom would be a take down and my arrest by park rangers. I was OK with the risk and took my chances.

Below is a picture with the trail highlighted to better understand our path down to the lake:

Views from the boat:

After the boat tour, only one person went for a swim in the 45 degree water:

Family picture after the swim:

Pictures of the Cleetwood Trail:

Mount Scott, the highest point in the park:

Crater Lake from the summit of Mount Scott:

Kellisa learning about the formation of Crater Lake as part of the requirements to earn her Junior Ranger Badge:

Kellisa drawing wildlife and scenery as part of the Junior Ranger Program:

Kellisa receiving her Junior Ranger Badge:

Mount Thielsen above the Pumice Desert:

The Pinnacles:

Vidae Falls:





No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts