2017: Even though the pics below were from my visit in 2005 and I plan a return visit, I’ll still keep these up. Even if the picture quality isn’t as good as I can do today, they’re still great memories that can’t be duplicated. I think next time I end up back here, it will be a different season, and I just love getting to see it in more than one! Next time, I want to do more trails, and I want to do the boat ride to Wizard Island! I heard the 1.1 mile hike to get there is the steepest in the park, so I better not wait too long since I’m not getting any younger!
July, 2005 visit: When I first made it to Crater Lake, it was in February, so a bunch of snow around was not really surprising to me (see Crater Lake page for that). When I came back in July to do the entire Rim Drive, the weather was a lot warmer, so it was easier to stop at every pull-off to see every vantage point.
But I was sure surprised at how much snow was still piled on the side of the road then!
You can drive all around this amazing lake and each viewpoint offers a different glimpse that makes you glad you stopped there. Some of the pulloffs have trails that you can walk around for even more close up and personal views.
Here’s Wizard Island as seen from the Visitor’s Center side.
Here it is from the other side. There are colorful pools formed around the island of ever changing tones of blues and greens.
There are boat trips that will take you to the island, but you need to hike about a mile to get to the launch. (NPS Info). This is on my must-do list when I return!
This is an island named Shipwreck Rock. This was a gorgeous viewpoint, but I remember it was swarming with mosquitoes, so I couldn’t stay long.
There were lots of other interesting rock outcroppings and twisted trees to play games with, like “that one looks like…”
But Crater Lake is not the only attraction along this beautiful drive. I really enjoyed these falls and already can’t wait to return!
Rim Drive Map from NPS Plan Your Visit
More Rim Drive Info:
Crater Lake Rim Drive (Crater Lake Institute) – The 33-mile Rim Drive has more than 20 scenic overlooks. From mid-October until mid-June, the north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to the public due to deep snow and ice buildups along the road. Rim Drive around the east side of the lake can be closed earlier than mid-October and may not open until July.
West or East Rim Drive? (Fodor’s) – Q&A about best times to visit and differences between the entrances and east or west rim drives.
All Trails – This route will take you on a drive around the 33 mile Crater Lake Rim Road stopping at the best viewpoints in Crater Lake National Park along the way.