(Crescent, OR) Hi 96 Lo 57 – The Tumbleweed 2014 Summer Tour continued today with a visit to Crater Lake National Park. It was a perfect day for it, bright and sunny, with temps in the mid-70’s in the park. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)
Crater Lake is about 50 miles away, and it was about an hour drive partly through heavy forested areas. The evergreens seem just a little bigger and taller in this part of the country.
We arrived at Crater Lake National Park, where we used our National Parks Access Pass for free admission.
The first thing we noticed when we entered the park was the amount of snow still on the ground.
Some of it was pretty deep too.
A ranger told us this is the snowiest area in the U.S., with about 44 feet (feet!) of snow per year. Snow covers the ground for eight months of the year. It felt strange to make a snowball in 80 degree weather.
The countryside around the park is a mixture of flat prairie, rolling hills, and distant mountains.
We thought this peak looked a little like the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
We finally came to a pullout with a lot of cars. We found a parking space and got out to get our first view of the lake.
Crater Lake was formed from a huge eruption of Mt. Mazama around 7,700 years ago. The volcano erupted with such force that it crumbled the walls of the mountain, leaving a 2,148 foot deep caldera. Rain and snowmelt over thousands of years filled the caldera with water, making it the deepest lake in the U.S. at over 1,900 feet. We were struck by how blue the water is. It’s the purest and clearest water in the U.S., with no rivers or streams in or out.
The most prominent feature of the lake is Wizard Island, formed from a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water.
The rim road runs about 33 miles around the lake, offering different viewpoints.
You can see one of the tour boats making a big wake on the calm surface.
Along the rim road was the 100-ft high Vidae Falls.
I took this panorama with my smart phone, giving a good overall view of the 5 x 6 mile lake.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Crater Lake National Park. We never cease to be amazed at the beauty of the natural wonders in our great country. Crater Lake is right up there with the best!
See you tomorrow.