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Crater Lake, OR - Best Time of Day?

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Hi all --

My family and I will be visiting Crater Lake for part of a day at the very beginning of August. We'll have our two young kids with us, which means that we'll likely be limiting our trip to the Rim Drive with stops for some beautiful photos. We'll be staying the night before at the Steamboat Inn along highway 138. What we're wondering is: what is the best time of day to do the Rim Drive (in August)? We love photography and we usually find that early morning light is best for photography. Is this true at Crater Lake as well? Or is there another time of day that is better for the colour of the water, etc.?

We're trying to plan our days and we're wondering whether we should hike to/see Toketee Falls the day before (and then head back to the Steamboat) or whether we should stop at Toketee on the way to Crater Lake (since it's on the way). So for example, if we hear that the best time of day to see Crater Lake is first thing in the morning, then we'll hike Toketee the day before and wake early in the morning to reach Crater Lake as early as we can.

Thoughts would be appreciated!


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