December 02 2014
Written By
Josey Orr
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The Great 59 - Part 13: Crater Lake National Park

The Great 59 is a series on America’s National Park Service.

Crater Lake National Park

State: Oregon

Created: May 22nd, 1902

Size: 183,224 Acres

Crater Lake National Park is like no place on earth. The lake itself is both majestic and pure, fed only by snowmelt and precipitation. It’s also the deepest lake in the United States measuring 1,949 feet at its lowest. The waters are clear, the air is fresh, and the land surrounding the lake is beautiful and dense, complete with cliffs and waterfalls.

To put it simply, this place is mind-blowingly beautiful. It probably should have made our list of the best places for winter camping. However, Crater Lake’s beauty has been drawing people to it for many years, no matter the season.

What To Do:

Hike – There are miles of great hiking trails to, from, and around the lake that are worth exploring. Some of the trails make for great day hikes and are only about three hours in duration. During the summer, you can hike the 33 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail that run through the park.

Ski & Snowshoe – You can bring your own gear, or rent some if you want to participate in winter activities in the park. The trails are all marked and for more information about them, head on over to the ski site.

Snow Mobile – According the NPS site “For snowmobilers, Diamond Lake Resort grooms the North Entrance Road. A ten-mile ride on the marked route brings you to an amazing lake overlook.”

Camp – Yes, of course you can camp here.

Places Of Interest:

The Rim - The Rim Trail is 33 miles around the lake. You can drive, bike, or walk the trail, but just remember to share the road! The best times to attempt to bike the rim are during the months of July, August, and September. Always check out the weather before you go, certain areas in the park are susceptible to closure.

Wizard Island– This is the giant, cone-shaped island in the middle of the lake. You can take a boat to it and hike to the top. Remember, you get what you hike for!

Old Man of the Lake – For over a hundred years there has been a 30-foot tall hemlock stump-floating upright in Crater Lake. Interestingly enough, the stump moves with wind and the waves around the lake. You can spot it on a boat tour.

The park is open all year long, but keep in mind that it does see closures during the winter months. Annual snowfall here can sometimes create avalanches so be sure to check ahead of time for any weather hazards before you plan your trip.

Also, you can go cliff diving in the summer. 


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