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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+ 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.