7,000 years ago, on what is now Crater Lake, OR, Mt. Mazama, an ancient volcano, erupted and collapsed, allowing the formation of one of the most breathtaking bodies of water in North America."At times brilliantly blue, ominously somber; at other times buried in a mass of brooding clouds. The lake is magical, enchanting - a remnant of fiery times, a reflector of its adjacent forested slopes, a product of Nature's grand design."

Crater Lake is a 6 mile wide caldera, bordered by cliffs and large, steep hills, it resembles something straight out of a fantasy novel. The water is a gorgeous blue reminiscent of Lake Tahoe or the many springs in Florida. The fantastic view comes complete with a mysterious-looking island in the middle, a hill with a dormant crater of its own, appropriately named Wizard Island.

Crater Lake is the seventh-deepest lake in the world at 1,132 feet, and it became the nation's fifth oldest National Park in 1902 after a 17-year campaign led by William G. Steel.


The Park Service offers boat tours during the summer which go around the lake, complete with a stop on Wizard Island, where visitors may get out and explore, even climb to the top and into the crater if they wish. During winter, cross-country skiing is a popular sport, as the area is one of the snowiest in the Northwest, getting 10-15 inches of snow per year. Other activities include: Bicycling, Bus Tours, Fishing, Scuba Diving, and Snowmobiling. Hunting and Mushroom picking (heehee!) are prohibited.

Lodging and Camping

Mazama Village
Summer only; gasoline, camper store, showers, laundry.

Mazama Village Motor Inn
Lodging 7 miles from the lake on the south side of the park; open mid-May through September. (541) 830-8700.

Mazama Campground
198 sites, operated by the park's concessioner from mid-June through early October. Reservations are not taken, but generally there are plenty of sites available. Wheelchair-accessible sites are available.

Rim Village
Year-round cafeteria and gift shop; restaurant in summer.

Crater Lake Lodge
71 rooms and dining room, overlooking Crater Lake. Open mid-May through mid-October. Reservations are recommended well in advance. (541) 830-8700.

Lost Creek Campground
Operated by the National Park Service from mid-July through mid-September. 16 sites for tent camping only. Located 3 miles south of Rim Drive on the Pinnacles Road.