What Is It?
The remnants of a collapsed volcano in Southern Oregon now hold Crater Lake—the ninth-deepest lake in the world.
A Big Bowl
Mount Mazama lost its top in an eruption about 7,700 years ago. The mountain’s now-hollow center, known as a caldera, filled with water about 1,940 feet deep. That’s deep enough for the Statue of Liberty to stand atop the Washington Monument, on top of the Eiffel Tower, with room to spare.
Down On the Water
Crater Lake only gets water from snow and rain that falls into the caldera, so with care from the National Parks Service, the lake is largely free of pollutants, algae and pesticides. This allows the water to shine a pure blue.
Take a Lap
Rim Drive is, as its name suggests, a 33-mile road around the rim of the caldera. Either hop on a trolley tour at Rim Village—the area near the main visitor center—or drive it yourself, getting the full range of views of the water, or turn around for landscape views of the region.
Mount Mazama still gets lots of snow at its peak, so most people visit between late May and early October. For lodging, Crater Lake Lodge has 71 rooms overlooking the lake, or you can stay in a nearby town and enjoy driving through Umpqua National Forest on your way.
Plan Your Visit
Between May 22 and October 31, a $30 pass admits one car and its occupants into the national park for seven consecutive days. For more information, visit nps.gov/crla or call 541-594-3000.