CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK The...
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK
The lake was formed after the collapse of an ancient volcano, posthumously named Mount Mazama. This volcano violently erupted approximately 7700 years ago. That eruption was 42 times as powerful as the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The basin or caldera was formed after the top 5000 feet of the volcano collapsed. Subsequent lava flows sealed the bottom, allowing the caldera to fill with approximately 4.6 trillion gallons of water from rainfall and snow melt, to create the seventh deepest lake in the world at 1,932 feet.
Today, Crater Lake is widely known for its intense blue color and spectacular views. During summer, visitors may navigate the Rim Drive around the lake, enjoy boat tours on the lake surface, stay in the historic Crater Lake Lodge, camp at Mazama Village, or hike some of the park's various trails including Mt. Scott at 8,929 ft. Diverse interpretative programs enhance visitors' knowledge and appreciation of this national park, 90% of which is managed as wilderness. The winter brings some of the heaviest snowfall in the country, averaging 533 inches per year. Although park facilities mostly close for this snowy season, visitors may view the lake during fair weather, enjoy cross-country skiing, and participate in weekend snowshoe hikes.
The 33-mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake is a two lane road that has more than 20 scenic overlooks. A 7-mile spur road departs from east Rim Drive providing access to the Pinnacles Overlook and Lost Creek Campground.
From mid-October until mid-June, the north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to the public due to deep snow and ice buildups along the road. Rim Drive around the east side of the lake can be closed earlier than mid-October and may not open until July. Deer and other wildlife crossing the road and icy conditions at any time of the year provide hazards to drivers.