Back in June 2013 our first glimpse of Crater Lake captured our hearts and arrested our imaginations.
The effervescent blue mirror-smooth water, the wispy white snow capped mountains, the verdant swaying trees. There was nothing that centred our consciousness and calmed our minds more than this. So this year, in 2015, we decided to head back. We were compelled. And it was everything we remembered… and more.
To make the most out of your trip to Crater Lake, here are our top 6 tips.
1. Bring your camera
You will be kicking yourself if you don’t capture images to plaster photo books, Facebook and the lounge wall back home. Here are a few tips to make your photos even better.
2. Visit the Steel Visitors Centre
3. Fill up your tank
There are no gas stations for miles around, which meant some nail-biting moments for us. So please go in with a full tank. The nearest gas stations are 35 miles away in the towns of Chiloquin and Prospect.
4. Take the scenic route
The road around the west rim is the most direct and shortest route between the north and southern entrance of the park. However if you have more time, also take the east rim route. This region contains many interesting and unique geological features. And it’s pretty too.
5. Bring food or eat beforehand
Like fuel you will not find many places to eat within the park, except for a few cafes at the accommodation places. My suggestion is to bring food with you for a picnic lunch. After all, you have the best views in the world.
6. The park closes seasonally so visit their website
Winter rules Crater Lake National Park. Seasonal roads can be closed in mid-October through to June. So be prepared and make sure the roads and passes are open when you decide to visit.
Now that you know everything you need to visit Crater Lake, here’s a little visual inspiration.
That deep blue colour is real. The water in this lake is amongst the purest and clearest in the world.
We spotted this friendly little fella at one of the many lookouts.
Devils Backbone – a fittingly named rock formation created by hardened lava.
Crater lake isn’t a crater at all – it’s a caldera. The lake is only refilled from snowmelt, the source of its exceptional purity.
Driving around the rim and stopping at every lookout point possible.
The steep slopes of the caldera.
While the current crater was created by the explosion of Mount Mazama around 7,700 years ago, the unmissable Wizard Island has only been above the surface for around 800 years.
Steel Visitors Centre at the southern end of the national park. Make this your first stop if you’re approaching from the southern entrance.
The view that you could just stare at all day…
…and also makes the perfect backdrop for a family portrait.
Footpath winding up The Watchman – from the aptly named scenic lookout, Watchman Overlook.
There’s always room for one more cute photo.
Is this one of the most gorgeous panoramas in the world? I think so.
One flashback shot from June 2013 – just a few days after the roads reopened through the national park. Leftover winter snow was still on the ground, but the warm sunshine made for t-shirt and shorts weather.