Even though the visit below was in 2005 and I plan a return trip with updated pics, I’m gonna keep these, because who knows if when I visit again there will be that much snow on the ground? I love being able to visit places like this in different seasons!
Feb. 5, 2005 visit: I entered the park through the west entrance. From I-5, coming up Hwy. 62 East, the first few miles are malls with Safeway, WalMart, Costco, etc., so there are plenty of places along here to shop and eat. As for gas, don’t wait to get out to Crater Lake to get it since it’s much more expensive there.
Crater Lake is the main reason I decided to stay in this part of Oregon through the winter and summer of 2005. From the many tempting pictures I’d seen for years, I just had to see for myself if something on this earth could possibly be that clearly blue and beautiful.
Even though the roads were mostly clear on this day, the snow was piled up on the side as high as the top of my car. Doesn’t my poor little Saturn look a bit intimidated by it all? 🙂
This was the first day I made it all the way to Crater Lake. I had headed that way before, but always turned back at Union Creek. That was about where the roads would be way too snowy for this Southern gal to feel comfortable driving on them.
The Welcome sign was almost buried, but look how clear and blue the sky was that day, providing a great show of contrast of white against blue, cool against warm.
The front entrance to the Visitor’s Center was completely blocked, but they were still open on this day, as I understand they are year round. You could get inside via a snow tunnel to the side. I had to laugh when the ranger told me how little snow they got this year compared to most!
This was my reward for a 4 hour day getting here (I really dawdled a lot – everything was just so pretty all the way there). But here is where I had my little picnic lunch and gave thanks for being able to experience this kind of day. I love RVing! No matter how many enticing pictures I’ve seen of this lake, none of them could match the experience of being there in person. The complete quiet and calm of the water, the cool crispness of the snow with the sun there to warm me, trying to grasp that I was at the rim of a massive sunken volcanic crater and the power it took to produce it…
…this is a section of scene I was looking out at.
Need I tell you this was another one of those times when I sat and cried at the beauty I have been blessed to see?
Check out scenic Rim Drive around Crater Lake. Breathtaking stuff!
More Crater Lake Info:
Crater Lake National Park (NPS) – Deep Water in a Sleeping Volcano: Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth.
FAQs (NPS) – How much snow does the area get, how deep is the lake?
Crater Lake Visitor Center (Oregon.com) – Located at the southern entrance to the national park, the visitor center is also located at the park’s headquarters. It is open year round.
Crater Lake (Travel Oregon) – From high atop the rim of Crater Lake, you can see what a wonder the world really is. The water is so blue, so deep, it’s no surprise it’s the deepest lake in America, and one of the deepest on earth. That’s why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.
Crater Lake Country – A complete guide to lodging, dining, wineries, golf, casinos and additional visitor attractions in the area.
Park Trails (NPS) – Crater Lake National Park contains more than 90 miles of hiking trails. Many can be hiked in a single day. The steep terrain and elevation of Crater Lake mean that the time, length and difficulty of trails are not directly related.
Hiking Info (Hiker Central) – Crater Lake National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the country. There are plenty of great hiking trails here to take it all in.
Crater Lake Campgrounds Info:
Crater Lake Campgrounds (NPS) – There are two developed campgrounds: Mazama Campground and Lost Creek Campground. Mazama Campground is a developed campground and has sites which can accommodate RV’s and tents. It is the only reservable campground at Crater Lake. Lost Creek Campground is a first-come, first-served tent-only campground. Both campgrounds are located in forests south of the lake and are only open in the summer.
Mazama Village Campground (Crater Lake National Park Lodges takes reservations for this NP campground) – Located seven miles from the rim of Crater Lake just inside the south entrance gate of Crater Lake National Park, the Mazama Village Campground has 214 tent and RV sites, accommodating tents up to 12’ x 12’ and RVs up to 50 feet in length. The campground is open from mid-June to late September/early October, weather permitting.