If you’re looking for a place to find inspiration or clear your head, you need to put Crater Lake National Park in Oregon on your must-visit list. Not only is this the deepest lake in the U.S., it’s surrounded by 2,000 feet cliffs and fed entirely by rain and snow. The water is so pristine and it’s the deepest shade of blue you can imagine. The lake was formed over 7,700 years ago after a volcano erupted creating this beautiful blue amusement for our eyes.
* Check the weather conditions before you go because many of the park’s roads, trails and facilities are closed when it snows.
Here are 5 things you can do when you visit Crater Lake.
1) Take a boat tour.
A friend of mine was shooting a video for the National Park, so we got to ride with the research team and explore the lake. We got a close up look of Phantom Ship, the oldest rock in the lake. Some boat tours will make a stop at Wizard Island so you can enjoy hiking, swimming and stay on the island for three hours.
To get to the lake, you’ll have to hike the Cleetwood Cove Trail. It’s a 1.1-mile hike down to the water.
Boat tours run from July through September only. Call 888-774-2728 to arrange a tour.
2) Take the scenic route around the lake.
There are more than 30 lookouts on Rim Drive, the 33-mile road that will take you around the lake. If you don’t want to drive, you can hop on a guided trolley tour that stops at 5 scenic overlooks including Phantom Ship overlook and Vidae Falls, a waterfall.
It takes about 2 hours and your ranger tour guide will share some history about the park, photos and answer any questions you have about the lake.
3) Wake up to watch the sunrise.
This is one of my favorite things to do, but it will require you to set that alarm clock early so you don’t sleep through sunrise. Bring a jacket and don’t forget your camera because the colors are brilliant. If you’re up for it, you can go on a hike or just bring a folding chair if you prefer to sit back, relax and watch the magic.
4) Explore beyond the lake.
There is so much more to see beyond the lake. When you are on Rim Drive, take a detour and visit The Pinnacles. The 100 feet spires are called fossil fumaroles and were formed under layers of volcanic ash.
There is a short trail that will take you there and it’s worth a stop. Your phone service won’t work, and in my opinion, you’ll be grateful for the chance to truly disconnect while you’re here.
5) Relax at Crater Lake Lodge.
Crater Lake Lodge is a beautiful historic hotel that overlooks the lake. The fireplace in the hall is so inviting, and the rocking chairs outside are a great place to hang out during the day or at night underneath the stars. The lodge is open from late-May to mid-October and the staff is super friendly.
I only ate at the Lodge during my stay and truly enjoyed every meal I had. Ask for a table by the window when making your reservation so you can enjoy the view of the lake with your meal.
1211 Avenue C, White City, Oregon 97503 (888) 774- 2728
Watch the video here:
What’s your favorite National Park? Have you been to Crater Lake? What did you do during your visit?
For more tips on visiting other National Parks, check out:
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