Crater Lake: Just You, the Lake, and the Heavens Above
Your first live view of Crater Lake will take your breath away. You may have seen pictures of its crystal blue water enclosed within a vast and glassy bowl. But nothing can prepare you for the punch in the gut you’ll feel when you’re standing on the rim in person – just you, the lake, and the heavens above.
The stunning vista of Crater Lake draws people from all over the world who come to explore the ancient landscape and tread the mysteries it holds. They come for recreation, inspiration, relaxation and contemplation. In droves they come.
At 1,943 feet (592 meters) Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and the ninth deepest in the world. Its fresh water is some of the clearest found anywhere in the world. So powerful is it, that people have been drawn to this same place before the eruption of Mount Mazama, 7,700 years ago.
The Lodge at Crater Lake
A hundred years ago, however, not many travelers were able to experience Crater Lake. The lake was remote, largely unknown, with unpaved roads and no creature comforts. Then a fellow named William Gladstone Steel came along and everything started to change, including its designation in 1902 as a National Park, and the construction of a lodge overlooking the lake.
Crater Lake Lodge opened summer of 1915, built expressly to encourage tourism to the area. While its patrons included people from all over the world, the lodge lacked many amenities in comfort, privacy and service. Rooms were incomplete, landscaping neglected and safety measures substandard. The lodge also suffered the yearly structural impacts of 15 feet of snow.
Eighty years later, under the direction of the National Park Service, Crater Lake Lodge was gutted and reconstructed to the tune of $15 million. On May 20, 1995, the Lodge reopened to the public in an atmosphere reminiscent of the 1920s. Today visitors enjoy fine and casual dining in the lodge, breathtaking vistas, visitor information and a bookstore and gift shop. The lodge offers 71 private rooms, normally available May 21 through mid-October.
There are many guided tours at Crater Lake, including boat tours and star parties. New this year, however, visitors can enjoy trolley tours in historically modeled trolleys to unique areas of interest around the lake. These two-hour tours are guided by a park ranger who provides insights and information into the history, culture and geology of Crater Lake.
Other Things to Do
The most popular thing to do at Crater Lake is to look. While they are at it, visitors, hike, bike, camp and drive the rim. For more information on places to go, guided tours, events and nearby attractions, click here.
The Legend of Crater Lake
More than 7,700 years ago, the Klamath people witnessed the catastrophic destruction of their revered Mt. Mazama and the creation of Crater Lake, attributing it to a cosmic fight between the mighty gods of the Above and Below worlds. Read more here.
Events: A detailed list of upcoming event can be found below. See all Crater Lake events here.
Newsletter: Sign up here for the monthly Crater Lake email newsletter.
All images courtesy of the Crater Lake Trust and the National Park Service.
Upcoming Events of Interest
Crater Lake Rim Run
Join us in the running the Annual Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon held in beautiful Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.
Choose between runs of 6.7, 13.0 miles and the Marathon, or if you are a walker, the 6.7 mile walk. All courses are along the very rim of majestic Crater Lake and are at altitudes ranging from 5,980 to 7,850 feet above sea level. Be challenged by rugged mountains and breathtaking views.
Star Party: August 14
Experience the magnificent beauty of the night sky and the spectacular light show of the Perseid meteor shower from one of the best viewing points in Oregon – the rim of Crater Lake. They will provide assorted telescopes, Dagoba hot chocolate, and an expert astronomer to help you understand what you are seeing.
Fly Fishing on Wizard Island: August 14-15
The weekend of August 14-15 marks the start of a unique exploration for five very lucky fishermen/women. Join Crater Lake guides for fine food, fishing expertise, as well as education on the ecology of the fish at Crater Lake. This is a rare opportunity and a chance of a lifetime. Check online now for a discounted special price on this full package.
RASA Yoga Retreat: August 20-22
Explore the natural wonders of Crater Lake while you delve into your own personal sanctuary. This all-inclusive weekend from August 20-22, entails lodging, healthy and delicious meals, restorative yoga sessions, and hiking to your heart’s content. Enjoy gentle and rejuvenating yoga sessions led by Rasa’s own Natalie Stawsky – ultimate relaxation and renewal with the amazing backdrop of Crater Lake.
Planning your trip? Start with your award-winning visitor guide, available online or by mail.Read the Guide
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