Crater Lake National Park Travel Guide
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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). Crater Lake is both the clearest and deepest lake in the United States—and the ninth deepest in the world.

For most visitors, the star attractions of Crater Lake are the lake itself and the breathtakingly situated Crater Lake Lodge. Although it takes some effort to reach it, Wizard Island is another outstanding draw. Other park highlights include the natural, unspoiled beauty of the forest and the geological marvels you can access along the Rim Drive.


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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, stopping for a ramble around Wizard Island.
  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. Lake-rim lodging Spend the night perched on the lake rim at the rustic yet stately Crater Lake Lodge.

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 well into June, nearly the...

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