Crater Lake

Picture of craterlake_southrim Crater Lake National Park is in a fairly remote part of southern Oregon. Getting there takes a while and it's a pretty big payoff when you finally get up to the rim and have a clear view of the lake. This is the south rim as seen from the visitor center.
Picture of craterlake_northrim And of course, the other direction is the north rim and Wizard Island. Crater Lake is an ancient volcano (Mount Mazama) that erupted long ago, collapsed and filled in with water. There are no inlets or outlets for the water of Crater Lake and that is a large part of what makes it so unique. It's also extremely deep, nearly circular and an amazing color of blue.
Picture of wizard_island Speaking of Wizard Island, it's a cinder cone rising on the west side of the lake. There are boat trips out to the island in the summer (you can see the boat at the bottom left in this picture). The most popular activities on the island are fishing and climbing to the summit.
Picture of mount_thielsen Out in the distance in this picture is the highly recognizable jagged peak of Mount Thielsen. Despite the way it looks, it's a non-technical (albeit difficult) climb to the summit. In early July when we visited, there was significant snow in the park...
Picture of phantom_ship On the south side of the lake is the interesting island formation called the Phantom Ship. The boat tours of the lake cruise past the island but do not allow visitors to disembark there.
Picture of craterlake_overview The park mostly consists of the caldera and the circular road that runs around it. On the outside of that road there are a handful of trails and short access roads that allow visitors to reach the forest areas. We found the mosquitos to be rather aggressive in July. The valleys were especially bad so we tried to keep to ridge and peak hikes where it was windy.
Picture of mill_creek_falls There are huge areas of national forest surrounding Crater Lake. This is Mill Creek Falls, south of Crater Lake in the Mill Creek Natural Area. It's a short half mile or so hike from the parking area.

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