Crater Lake is Really, Really Big

June 12th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  3 Comments

I’m still sorting through photos (and admiring Adobe Lightroom), but that thumbnail links to another vacation photo that catches just how incredibly ginormous Crater Lake is (and how incredibly blue and reflective the waters are).

The main image is a shot of a boat just off the NE tip of Wizard Island, which sits on the west side of the lake and rises about 750 feet over the surface of the water. The inset is a wider shot that puts Wizard Island in more perspective.

Our timing for the Crater Lake visit was pretty good. The park’s guest services opened on June 1. Since winter doesn’t completely end until July most years, people tend to stay away until late June. In fact, the northern gate was closed when we arrived. We’d called ahead on our way down and were told crews were trying to clear the roads of a recent snow and that we should go ahead and try the north entrance. We tried it, but had to double back a few miles and come in from the west side. Inside the park, only the southwest quarter of Rim Drive, which circles the lake, was open.

We went for a hike up the Garfield Peak trail, but were stopped by a sheet of packed, hard snow where the trail cuts south along a steep slope just before the last switchback. Judging from the topo in that link, we missed making the end by about a half mile. There were several beautiful views over the lake all the same, as well as a gorgeous panorama of the Klamath basin to the south and Mt. Shasta to the southwest. At least, to judge from this photo from elsewhere, that was Mt. Shasta we were seeing.

Between the seasonal timing of our visit and the fact we arrived on a Thursday, we had a fairly uncluttered visit. We passed only three other groups on the trail. The parking lot at the lodge was filling pretty quickly by noon on Friday, though.


  1. gl. says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 2:16 pm (#)

    did you walk all the way to the bottom & then up again? it’s a heck of a climb!

  2. mph says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 2:39 pm (#)

    We didn’t. There was still a lot of snow covering the slopes and paths on the segment of the rim we could get to. They had paths down to the lake closed. We had to settle for going up instead.

  3. dot unplanned » pana-go-go says:

    June 19th, 2007 at 10:25 pm (#)

    […] and referring back to a picture I posted from a few days ago, the tiny red boat in that entry can be seen in this pano as a speck in front of a ripple coming in […]

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