The Lava Beds National monument (page to come) lies in the far north east corner of California, close to the Oregon border. It is a striking example of eruptions where the outer lava cools and gives a solid crust while the inner lava remains fluid enough to flow out, giving empty tubes that can be visited. It is not far from Crater Lake and can be visited on the same day if hurrying.
When the boat drops you off on the island you have 2 hours to explore. The hike to the top of the island is only 1 mile and gains 756 feet (230 m) of elevation. You will be greeted with excellent views throughout your hike (about 1 mile).
At the top you will be greeted with a very one of a kind scene. You will be on the rim of a 90 ft (27 m) deep and 300 ft (91 m) wide crater from this rim you will be able to see the complete panorama of the lake around you.
For scale, in the second picture below there are two people descending into the crater. They look like small blue and white dots.
After the boat drops you off on the Island you have 2 hours to explore. The hike to the top of the Island is about 1 mile long and gains 756 feet (230 m) of elevation in the process. Average time for the hike with return is 1 hour.
While on the Island you are afforded other recreational activities as well. Fishing, swimming and scuba diving are also popular activities.
Fishing is for the previously stocked Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Since Fish are not naturally occurring in the lake they decided in the 1960’s to stop stocking the lake and open fishing to year round and Not Requiring a License. There is no use of bait only artificial lures and flies. They do however suggest that you keep what you catch.
Do not miss your boat back. The tour guides told us that if after 2 hours you are not waiting at the dock you will be fined $200.00. I'm not sure if that is true but I would not test it.
On a couple of highways leadiing to and from the west entrance to Crater Lake off of State Highway 62 are a number of pretty and some spectactular waterfalls. Along Highway 138 east of Roseburg are a number of waterfalls on either side of the highway. Just look for the signs and pull into the parking area. Some require a short hike but most are less than one mile. Two of the ones we stopped to check out were Watson Falls (the highest in the area) and Clearwater Falls. The falls along Highway 138 are an easy half-day trip from either the Rim Village or Mazama Village areas of Crater Lake via the Rim Drive and the North Entrance to the park.
Along Highway 62 south of the Highway 230/62 split are two really nice falls very close to each other. Mill Creek and Barr Creek ffalls are a short 3/4-mile hike from the parking lot and whose viewpoints are only 200 yards from each other. Both spill into the Rogue River. These two are also an easy half-day trip from either the Rim Village or Mazama Village areas of Crater Lake.
There is a database of all Oregon waterfalls at the website given below. My suggestion is to stop at a National Forest Service Ranger Station and ask for a guide to the waterfalls in the area. There is a guide posted at most of the waterfalls on an information board near the restrooms or trailhead at each stop.
You'll see plenty of squirrls there (or whatever they are called). They're just soooo cute!
But don't be tempted to feed or pet them, they still are wild animals and should not depend on human feeding, etc.
Just to the north of Crater Lake lies Diamond Lake, another grand high mountain lake - not volcanic in nature - which is bordered on the west by Mt Bailey and the east by Mt Thielsen. There is a trail to the top of Mt Bailey and the views are very fine. Great skiing up here in the winter too. Mt Thielsen is a spire - it's nickname is the 'Lightning Rod of the Cascades'. It is an old eroded volcano and has a fairly easy climbing route that will take you up the south side. A little scrambling and you have a grand view over the Diamond Lake area, but to the south, the rim of Crater Lake is very noticeable. It is from this vantage point that you can really see the mammoth size of the old Mt Mazama. You see how the top has just fallen down in onto itself. Remember to take your gaiters for one helluva scree ski on the way back :-))
I include this photo to illustrate the deep blue of the water at Crater Lake. The view is actually looking down from the top of Waizrd Island to the lake. But it appears that it could just as well have been taken from the bottom of the hill looking up towards the sky.