Crater Lake National Park. Or, How Many Pictures Can You Take of the Same Lake?

Answer: A lot. Especially when it’s this beautiful.

Crater Lake with Wizard Island as seen from the Southeast, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake with Wizard Island as seen from the Southeast, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

After spending a few days on the gorgeous Oregon coast, I somewhat reluctantly drove inland towards Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is a 2,000 foot deep body of water that fills the caldera, formed by the eruption of Mount Mazama approximately 7,700 years ago. Later eruptions of the volcano created Wizard Island. Though the park is famous for the deep blue color of the water, the remanents of the rim are equally beautiful, providing the ideal frame for such a masterpiece.

View of the lake and rim from Discovery Point Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

View of the lake and rim from Discovery Point Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake from along Discovery Point Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake from along Discovery Point Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Wizard Island from Watchman Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Wizard Island from Watchman Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Lake with folded basalt embedded in rim, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Lake with folded basalt embedded in rim, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Looking down from top of Cletewood Cove Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Looking down from top of Cletewood Cove Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

With water that colorful, I had to go in, even though the water is a brisk 57 degrees. Totally worth it though:

Underwater view of the shallows, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Underwater view of the shallows, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Underwater shot looking towards the deeper blue depths, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Underwater shot looking towards the deeper blue depths, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

The park has a few extra surprises, including fumaroles:

Pinnacles formation, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Pinnacles formation, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

These fumaroles were areas where underground heat was vented, which caused the pumice to compact and cement. Lighter volcanic ash and pumice from the later eruption of Mount Mazama was deposited around them but was eroded, leaving these tall, thin structures. Just behind the rim lies fields of flowers in the chunks of pumice, which were lovely in the late afternoon sunlight.

Red flowers growing in field of pumice and ash, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Red flowers growing in field of pumice and ash, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

I’m off hiking for the next few days in some state parks and national monument areas where I will be most likely out of touch, but this post and the next are scheduled to post in my absence.