In North America & Canada/ Oregon/ Travel Destinations/ US NATIONAL PARKS WITH KIDS/ USA

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

CRATER LAKE OREGON @ONETINYLEAP

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Crater Lake National Park is out of this world. The minute you catch sight of this beauty, you’ll probably rub your eyes, because the water is so unbelievably blue.

I had read about the lake a few times before, and couldn’t get rid of the perfect mirrored blue water that I had seen in photographs – it looked incredible and I was giddy to experience it myself.

After spending two weeks on Oregon’s majestic coast, we made a 4 hour detour inland, purely to see Crater Lake, and it was worth every long. mile.

The lake’s origins are as fascinating as its image – it came into being due to a gigantic eruption of the volcano Mount Mazama a mere 7700 years ago, after which the volcano collapsed in upon itself, forming a huge caldera. Since then the crater has been accumulating rainwater, and has remained free of any sediment or algae, which means the water has maintained the pristine deep blue you can see in my photos (I haven’t edited the photos at all).

We spent half a day in the park, driving around the rim and stopping every few miles to take in the astonishing vistas. You could easily spend the whole day exploring the 33 miles rim drive though, which offers plenty of viewpoints along the way. Our Yachats hosts also told us that you can cliff jump around here, but we were unable to find the exact point and left it for another time when C can do it with us.

There are plenty of hikes around the Crater Lake National Park, and also a boat that takes you all the way to Wizard Island. Unfortunately, we didn’t know tickets sold out early, and missed our chance to see the lake up-close, but the view from the rim still blew us away.

Crater Lake is of course a fantastic educational experience for older children, but little ones may get a bit bored as the rim is fairly limited in terms of ‘things to do’. If your children are under 5/6 I would definitely try to book tickets for the boat to keep them amused.

We also made it up to Charlie for all the driving around ‘looking at some lake’ by going to the extremely fun Lake in the Woods, which was near our airbnb in Keno. A large lake serviced with a café, boat dock and a little ‘beach’ setup it was the perfect ending to our day.


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How to get to Crater Lake

Crater Lake Maps

+ Where to stay in Crater Lake 

We stayed in a fantastic airbnb A-Frame house, which was located just over an hour south of the lake, in a small town called Keno. We couldn’t find many affordable accommodation options near the lake, so chose this one.

+ Where to eat in Crater Lake:

There aren’t many options I’m afraid, but the view over a picnic is of course breathtaking.

+ What to do around Crater Lake:

As mentioned above, we also visited a cute lake nearby called Lake in the Woods, which was lots of fun. Typical American summer lake activities, with a café, a small beach, boating and a jumping platform.

TIP: Book your boat tickets in advance to avoid disappointment!

As always, we’re linking our post up with the fantastic Country Kids. Make sure you visit Fiona’s website for inspiration for days out.

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  • What an amazing place to visit! Absolutely beautiful

  • Erin Vincent

    Beautiful! Your pictures are breathtaking. If I ever travel to the Pacific Northwest, I’ll be sure to stop here. Thanks so much for sharing at Country Kids! ?

  • What an absolutely stunning place. I can understand why you made the detour! #countrykids

  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    What a breathtaking place to have been able to witness for yourself, the colour of the water even in the pictures is spectacular so I can only imagine what it’s like in real life. Charlie looks like he’s having a great time exploring the edge of the lake, even if it’s not that exciting for little ones to explore. It’s a shame you couldn’t find the spot where you could do some cliff diving but at least you found somewhere to have a dip in the water afterwards. Thanks for sharing with me on Country Kids.

  • Sarah D

    Wow – this looks AMAZING. Well worth the detour to see. It is beautiful and I think your pictures make it look stunning, so can only imagine how truly breathtaking it is to see in real life!
    #whatevertheweather

  • Jenny Eaves

    What an amazing sight to see! The photos really are gorgeous. Fantastic that you can get such a great view from a road as well, no hiking required! Lovely that there is somewhere close by to let kids have a a good play too.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  • Sarah Stockley

    This is fabulous! I am amazingly jealous, your pictures are stunning. My dream one day is to go to the USA and do a huge roadtrip, taking in the scenery. This post just spurs me on. Sarah x

  • Life Unexpected

    Oh my god I can’t believe these photos aren’t edited! What an amazing/incredible/I can’t even find the correct words place!!! So beautiful. I really want to go travelling around America. I wish we had enough spare change to make the leap. I can’t get over the water, it’s stunning. You are really lucky to get to see such wonders everyday. Thank you for linking this post to #whatevertheweather xx

  • sarah Lea

    Oh my goodness! That looks… there’s just no words. It’s beyond amazing and stunning seems an understatement! I am super jealous, haha. xx

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  • Beautiful photos! We love Crater Lake and glad you enjoyed your visit here too. We were there last year and were blown away by its beauty and scenery. We got lucky and were able to do the boat tour around the lake and swim in it afterwards. It’s an unforgettable experience and I hope you get to return and do it.