Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Craig's Guest Blog: Crater Lake

From Craig: Merikay is letting me write a whole post!  

On Monday July 2 we went back to Crater Lake National Park, drove part-way around the lake, walked down to the boat dock, took the boat trip around the lake and then climbed back up and went home.

When you come from Fort Klamath as we did, you arrive at the lake at what's called Rim Village.  Merikay's previous post (below) shows some of the views from there on Sunday.

Monday we started driving around the West Rim Drive.  This image is one of the most-photographed views from near the start of the drive.  The island is called Wizard Island and the big rock behind it is called The Watchman.

Here's Wizard Island from further along the West Drive, looking back toward the East shore with a snow slope at lower right.  The far side wasn't that blue, but it's too hard to fix that without spoiling the color of the water.

Note that the top of Wizard Island has its own little volcanic bowl.  In some sense it's the descendant of the great volcano that blew up 7700 years ago to create Crater Lake.  (Very safe now they say :-)

We stopped at several other scenic stops along the West Rim Drive before we came to Cleetwood Cove from which the boat departs.  This is the only way down to the lake surface, and the trail switches back many times, providing many breathtaking views.  This one looks toward the south shore from high up on the trail. See the swirl of light color at the lower right?  That's pollen from pines and firs, floating on the water.

Further down the trail, this one looks down the East side of the lake.  The mountain in back may be Shasta.  You thought maybe I was a geographer?

One of the nicest things about Southeast Oregon is how healthy the trees look.

We got down to the boat dock, waited a while, and went aboard for a two hour trip around the lake.  It went counter-clockwise, first passing The Watchman, around the back of which we had just driven.

This one is on the southwest shore, below Rim Village.  It made the cut among 231 images because of the color contrast between the different slopes.

Further around the southern shore, this orange formation is called Pumice Castle. Somewhere along in here is a rock island called the Phantom Ship, but none of the images we got of it were good enough to burden you with yet another big image to download...

The northeast shore of Crater Lake (near the boat dock) is where water leaks out to keep the lake from filling and overflowing.  The rangers say no one knows where it goes.  We couldn't find a way to get an image of water leaking out underground.

After the boat docked, the walk up the trail was hard but the views were just as good as on the way down.  They differed only from the downhill views in how the sun lit them.  Here is Merikay being happy to have made it back up.

We drove back toward Rim Village, and our scenic turnouts looked outward away from the lake.  The plain here was in a patchy stage of snowmelt.  Behind it is a little Matterhorn-type peak which a ranger at the turnout said was "sharpened" by a glacier long ago.

Stay tuned for more adventures in the Crater Lake area...


  1. what a great recap of your day!..and beautiful photos too! this is definitely a place we have on our list of must see's!

  2. Lovely pictures. Much better than mine with all the snow.

  3. Great post Craig and wonderful photos of Crater Lake. It is truly one of the most awe-inspiring sights in Oregon.

  4. Nice narrative around the lake & fine photos to boot. With our limited Snow Bird winter travel months it's not likely we will ever get to Oregon so will just have to settle for descriptions & photos from folks like yourself who are able to make those great scenic trips.

  5. Beautiful shots of the lake, and nice commentary!

  6. I'm disappointed you couldn't figure out how to get an underground picture of the leak! Ha Ha! :)

  7. Welcome aboard. You can write a post any time.

  8. Great narrative and super photos. Thanks

  9. Very nice blog Craig and I loved the pictures. I hope I get to see Crater Lake someday.


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