Corbitt's National Parks
     Crater Lake
               National Park


1902: National Park

Size: 183,224 acres

2008 visitors: 415,686

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

Located in southern Oregon, Crater Lake is famous for its unusual blue color and its pristine mountain setting. Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep, the deepest lake in the United States, and the seventh deepest in the world. It also holds the world record for natural water clarity. This lake was formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano, when the caldera filled with rain and snow. The lake is surrounded by lava walls 500 to 2,000 feet high.

A variety of plant life is found in the Park, including mountain hemlock; Shasta, Douglas, and red fir; and whitebard, ponderosa, and lodgepole pine. Animals inhabiting the area include bears, deer, coyotes, porcupines, elk, and bobcats, along with many bird varieties. The mature forests that surround the lake are largely untouched.

What You're Going to See

Well, a lot of snow, from what I understand. Crater Lake receives an astounding average of 533 inches of snow each year, which often doesn't melt until July. Many of the high-elevation trails are snowbound until the middle or the end of summer. There is a 33-mile paved road that circles the lake and offers many scenic viewpoints, and there are several shorter trails that offer interesting views. A 6-mile paved road off the Rim Drive leads to the Pinnacles, where spires of pumice and welded tuff rise 200 feet out of a canyon.

Boat rides in the lake are available, which can take visitors around the lake and even to Wizard Island, a cinder cone in the middle of the lake.

Personal Observations

Someday ...

Getting There

From Eugene, take highway 58 southeast 86 miles to US 97. Take that south for 18 miles to highway 138 and go west for about 15 miles to the summer entrance. In the winter, continue on around as the highway becomes highway 230 for a total of 43 miles, the go east on highway 62 for about 17 miles to the turnoff to park headquarters.

From Medford, go north on highway 62 for about 58 miles. At the junction, continue east on 62 (don't take highway 230 to the north) for about 17 miles to the turnoff to park headquarters.

Nearby Attractions

About 60 miles to the south is Cascade-Siskiyou NM. 90 miles to the southwest is impressive Oregon Caves NM. 80 miles north is Newberry National Volcanic Monument.