Crater Lake looks like something from a mega-budget science-fiction movie: the deep, sapphire-blue lake, sharp surrounding caldera ridgeline that stretches two thousand feet into the air, and a pair of islands poking out of the still water all create the impression of a miniature earth turned from a sphere to a bowl. Located in southern Oregon and officially designated a park in 1902, Crater Lake National Park surrounds the phenomenal result of Mount Mazama's final eruption: the deepest lake in the United States.
"Rim Drive" is a 33-mile-long path along the caldera's rim, giving visitors an added 3,800 feet of elevation visibility. Unlicensed fishing--with no size, species, or number limits--of "introduced" fish like Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon is allowed, along with swimming and boat tours all summer long. Mount Scott is the park's highest point, at nearly 9,000 feet, and provides up to 100 miles of visibility on clear days.
Entree fees are $10 for cars, good for seven days. Entree fees for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are $5 each, also good for seven days. Entree fees for commercial vehicles range from $25 to $200, depending on seating capacity.
Best time to visit
Late May through early October is when the 200 campsites of Mazama Campground are available, and reservations can be made via phone or online.
Near by POI
The Pinnacles are striking spires of cemented ash and pumice rock that came to rest near the volcano during its eruption, and were sculpted and "cleaned" by erosion and wind. A deep layer of pumice and ash drawing north from Mazama is known as the Pumice Desert, and its spartan beauty is due to a notable lack of plants caused by porous, regolith-dusted soil.