We spent the day in Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is a caldera lake that is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot deep calderathat was formed around 7,700 years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. At 1,943 feet the lake is the deepest in the United States, and the seventh deepest in the world. Two islands are in Crater Lake; Wizard Island (visible in the first three pictures) formed from a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water, and the smaller Phanton Ship (7th picture) which is a natural rock formation pillar which derives its name from its resemblance to a ghost ship, especially in foggy and low-light conditions
In the morning we hiked to Garfield Peak. It has a 1,000 foot elevation gain in 1.7 miles, so it is quite steep, but it offers stunning views of the lake. The first 6 pictures are from that hike. We learned something very valuable from this hike – never go hiking without bug spray. We were dive bombed the entire way by very large mosquitoes and developed quite the cadence with our hiking sticks – plant them to hike, run them down our arms and legs and then swing them behind our back to try to protect ourselves. We felt entitled to a good lunch after our over 3 mile hike so we had lunch at the Crater Lake Lodge.
We took the rim drive after lunch., stopping at the overlooks along the way. The 8th picture is Vidae Falls which is right off the Rim Drive. In the afternoon, we took a boat ride to get a different perspective of the lake. We had to take a 1.1 mile hike down to the boat, and then hike back up with a 700 foot elevation gain (the picture of Don is on the way down). Leslie felt that an elevator should be installed, but that probably is not really keeping with the outdoor nature of the park. So, we got another workout which was a good thing. It was overcast when we were on the boat, which actually was nice because it was in the 90s and the boat was not covered; however, it was not the best lighting for Don’s pictures. The last three pictures are from that ride. By the way, the average temperature on Crater Lake in July is around 70, so it was quite a bit warmer than usual – we are bringing Arizona weather everywhere we go on this trip.