At a depth of 1,943 feet, Crater Lake lives up to its name as the deepest lake in the United States, and the ninth deepest in the world. It’s tucked away in the beautiful Crater Lake National Park in the southern regions of Oregon. Near the Cascade Mountain Range within the park, its waters are some of the clearest found anywhere else on the planet, a stunning and unique travel destination that’s perfect to add to your bucket list for the States. 

Crater Lake is truly an awe-inspiring sight, as it’s been said that this flawless terrain is perhaps the most pristine place in the world, ideal for photographers, hikers, and artists. Travel to Oregon to see this natural wonder that was formed, by volcanic eruption, over 7,000 years ago! No wonder it’s considered one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake. Photo: Thomas Shahan via Flickr

A History of Creation

Crater Lake and the history behind this natural wonder began in 5700 B.C., when the lake first started to form from Mount Mazama’s eruption. This volcanic event sent so much volcanic ash into the air that its summit collapsed, leaving a massive, smoldering depression. Contrary to its name, Crater Lake is not a crater, but a caldera, a bowl-shaped depression in the ground that takes shape after a volcano erupts and expels most of its magma. When several smaller eruptions occurred, it allowed the caldera floor to seal, which led to the creation of Crater Lake.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Panorama of Crater Lake. Photo: Tim Wilson via Flickr

Top Crater Lake Attraction: Wizard Island

One of the eruptions left a cinder cone in the caldera, which eventually became Wizard Island, a large island in the western end of Crater Lake. The summit of Wizard Island is 763 feet above water and stretches about one mile. There’s also a 500-foot wide crater, known as the Witches Cauldron; it’s at the highest point of the island’s cone.

Wizard Island, Crater Lake, Oregon

Wizard Island. Photo: Nicolás Boullosa via Flickr

To get here, it’s possible to rent a boat to Wizard Island to explore the landscape (first taking a car to Crater Lake National Park). You can hike around the crater on its many marked hiking trails where you’ll be able to see the raw-flowing lava that’s still visible on the island. Wizard Island is a definite must-see in Crater Lake National Park!

Wizard Island, Crater Lake, Oregon

View of Wizard Island from Rim Village. Photo: Cary Bass-Deschenes via Flickr

How to Travel to Crater Lake

Getting to Crater Lake National Park by car is your best travel option. The roads inside and near the park are typical mountain roads with many curves and a number of drop-offs. Also, weather can suddenly change, as Oregon in the south can experience snowstorms even in August. So, it’s important to remember to always drive with caution, especially if you’re not used to mountain roads. Crater Lake is definitely worth the trip!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Pristine and Pure. Photo: Kimon Berlin via Flickr

Depending on what direction you’re coming from, there are many routes from which to choose to get to this Oregon travel wonder. Once you get to Crater Lake National Park, you’ll see two visitor centers. Go there to get travel maps and other information for your adventure. At the centers, you’ll also be able to receive information about renting boats to Crater Lake. Enjoy your stay at Crater Lake National Park!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake. Photo: Byron Hetrick via Flickr

Happy travels to Crater Lake in Oregon!

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