Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. Located within the collapsed caldera of the now dormant Mount Mazama volcano, nowhere else on earth can you find such a deep blue lake. It's the deepest in the USA and third deepest in the world at 592 metres – flanked by sheer cliffs reaching several hundred metres high.
Crater Lake has no streams flowing in or out of it, all the water that enters the lake is slowly evaporated and refilled entirely from snow and rain. There are two islands that peek out from the Crater Lake: the lesser-known Phantom Ship and the more prominent Wizard Island, so named for its resemblance to a sorcerer’s headpiece.
The 233-metre-high cinder cone of Wizard's Island emerged as the volcano’s crater began to fill with rain and snowmelt after an eruption, until it reached a depth of 589 metres.
Hikers can traverse almost 145 kilometres of trails at Crater Lake National Park, lined with mountain hemlock, Shasta red fir and several species of pine, including whitebark, lodgepole and majestic ponderosa. Animal life is also diverse, with black bears, bobcats and marmots among the inhabitants.
Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake and its surrounding hills and forests sure pack a punch! The park is open all year round, but access in winter is limited. In summer you can hike, bicycle ride, go boating, swimming, fishing or hiking. There are ranger-guide programs and talks, and evening programs too.
In the winter, the park turns into a snow capped wonderland where you can ski, snowshoe or snow mobile your way around.