After a really nice scenic drive out of Eugene last night into the Cascade Mountains on our way to Crater Lake National Park, we arrived around early afternoon to find the rim road was closed as there was still snow on the eastern side. We could still get down the western side which is where Wizard Island is, so it was still okay.
The area was formed when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed in on itself around 7,700 years ago. The lake itself is the deepest lake in North America at over 1900 feet deep, ringed by mountains that rise up over 2000 feet, and is 5 miles wide. Wizard Island was formed after the main eruption and collapse, and can be hiked up once the boat service starts running at the end of June.
On the left, the ridge rising up is part of what would have made up the slope of Mount Mazama, which is estimated to have been a mile high originally. It shows just how high some of the cliff faces around the lake are, and there’s only one place around the whole lake that provides a path down to the shores but is still more than 600 feet of descent and a long walk back up!
We got some pretty good views off the size of the lake, and was weird seeing some of the ‘desert’ areas to the north and west where it’s still volcanic rock and tree-less. From Rim Village, there was some really nice landscapes looking over the lake. I would have liked to get around the rim drive and see Phantom Ship island or take some of the short trails up the mountains to get some higher views, as I really didn’t expect there to be quite as much snow given it’s June 20th!
Definately worth the trip, even without getting right around the rim to see things from the eastern side! On our drive back down to Medford, we picked up the Rogue River and stopped off to check out the Rogue Gorge:
That was pretty cool, and further down the river there seems to be a lot of rafting and kayaking trips. Even here in Medford there’s a lot of brochures and advertisements to river trips. Tomorrow we’re heading to the coast to check out Redwood National Park and drive the Pacific Highway, route 101, for a little before spending the night in Redding, California.