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Crater Lake National Park Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock

Plan Your Crater Lake National Park Vacation

The pure, crystalline blue of Crater Lake astounds visitors at first sight. More than 5 miles wide and ringed by cliffs almost 2,000 feet high, the lake was created approximately 7,700 years ago, following Mt. Mazama's fiery explosion. Days after the eruption, the mountain collapsed on an underground chamber emptied of lava. Rain and snowmelt filled the caldera, creating a sapphire-blue lake

so clear that sunlight penetrates to a depth of 400 feet (the lake's depth is 1,943 feet). Today it's both the clearest and deepest lake in the United States—and the ninth deepest in the world.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. The lake Cruise inside the caldera basin and gaze into the extraordinary sapphire-blue water of the country's deepest lake.
  2. Native land Enjoy the rare luxury of interacting with totally unspoiled terrain.
  3. The night sky Billions of stars glisten in the pitch-black darkness of an unpolluted sky.
  4. Splendid hikes Accessible trails spool off the main roads and wind past colorful bursts of wildflowers and cascading waterfalls.
  5. Camping at its best Pitch a tent or pull up a motor home at Mazama Campground, a beautifully situated, guest-friendly, and well-maintained campground.

When To Go

When to Go

The park's high season is July and August. September and early October tend to draw smaller crowds. From October through June, the entire park...

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