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Beautiful Day
The two RV Gypsies Adventures
at Crater Lake National Park
Klamath County, Oregon
August 4, 2013

USA map showing approximate location of Crater Lake

history clipart bookCrater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the fifth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests.

The lake is 1,943 feet deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. Crater Lake is often referred to as the seventh deepest lake in the world, but this former listing excludes the approximately 3,000-foot depth of subglacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica, which resides under nearly 13,000 feet of ice, and the recent report of a 2,740-foot maximum depth for Lake O'Higgins/San Martin, located on the border of Chile and Argentina. However, when comparing its average depth of 1,148 feet to the average depth of other deep lakes, Crater Lake becomes the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world. The impressive average depth of this volcanic lake is due to the nearly symmetrical 4,000-foot deep caldera formed 7,700 years ago during the violent climactic eruptions and subsequent collapse of Mount Mazama and the relatively moist climate that is typical of the crest of the Cascade Range.

The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet. The United States Geological Survey benchmarked elevation of the lake surface itself at 6,178 feet. This National Park encompasses 183,225 acres (286.29 square miles).

Crater Lake National Park south entrance sign

Below: A Panorama view from a pullout shortly after entering Crater Lake National Park.

View from a pullout shortly after entering Crater Lake National Park

Annie Falls cascades 53 feet down a steep slope in Annie Creek Canyon, surrounded by walls of petrified volcanic ash from the long since gutted Mount Mazama. The falls are viewed from the Annie Falls picnic area, but a grove of trees at the bottom of the canyon obstruct the falls from view from pretty much every angle in some way or another, and as a result, are not a widely known or sought out attraction within Crater Lake National Park. Do not try to approach the falls closely - the canyon walls are extremely crumbly and unstable, and a misstep would almost certainly lead to serious injury or worse. As always, you are responsible for your own safety and extra caution should always be taken at waterfalls, canyons, slopes, and steep hills.

Annie Falls
Annie Falls
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Because Crater Lake is filled almost entirely by snowfall, it is one of the clearest lakes in the world. Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake's water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.

a very clear and clean Crater Lake
a very clear and clean Crater Lake

Named for its resemblance to a sorcerer's hat, Wizard Island rises out of Crater Lake, "Gem of the Cascades." Snow usually closes the drive around the Oregon lake in winter.

Panorama around Wizard Island
Wizard Island
Wizard Island
Karen Duquette is amazed by the reflcections around Wizard Island
The two RV Gypsies at Crater Lake National Park
Karen Duquette in the foreground of Wizard Island
panorama of Crater Lake and Wizard Island
the lava cliffs at Crater Lake
the lava cliffs and Crater Lake

An enclosed overlook high in the cliffs towers over Crater Lake. Lee Duquette immersed himself in the beauty of Crater Lake.

An enclosed overlook high in the cliffs
beautiful Crater Lake

The two RV Gypsies drove Rim  Drive to get different views of Crater Lake, Wizard Island, Phantom Ship and Vidae Falls as seen from various overlooks. Rim Drive is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake. More than 30 pullouts offer dramatic views of the park's volcanic scenery. Sinnott Memorial Overlook has panoramic views and fascinating exhibits - a great place to learn about the park's geologic story and history of scientific investigation through an enclosed exhibit room and an open parapet with spectacular views of the lake, and Ranger talks.  The overlook is located down a steep, historic walkway with stairs and unfortunately is not accessible to people with limited mobility.

Sinnot Memorial Overlook sign
Crater Lake

Is this a Sea Monster coming out of Crater Lake?

a Sea Monster coming out of Crater Lake
panoprama of a Sea Monster coming out of Crater Lake

history clipart bookThe massive cliff of lava rock was formed by one of the last and biggest eruptions of lava prior to the main volcanic event. In fact there is evidence that the explosion that formed the lava rock may have triggered the major eruption of Mount Mazama about 170 years later. Mount Mazama with its Crater Lake is one of a thousand potentially active volcanoes that ring the Pacific. For nearly half a million years, the great 12,000 foot high Volcano stood here with its summit 4,000 feet above where visitors now stand. It was composed of irregular complex of volcanic cones and domes. The landmarks on the caldera rim are the surviving remnants of these features.

clear blue water and gorgeous cliffs
clear blue water and gorgeous cliffs
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WOW

Phantom Ship is a remnant of one of the mountain's original cones (Phantom Cone) that dates to about 400,000 years ago. It is now exposed evidence of a volcano that existed at this spot and formed part of the Mount Mazama complex. Although it is as high as a 140-story building (more than 160 feet high), from this location it appears to be the size of a toy sailboat in the two photos below. 400,000 year-old lava flows make up Phantom Ship, the oldest rocks exposed above lake level within the caldera. It does look like a ship sailing away.

Phanton Ship
Phanton Ship
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moss on a large slingshot twig
poster showing amount of snow in winter at Crater Lake

chek out this amazing factImagine looking up at a 12,000-foot volcano that had grown for almost half a million years. A massive eruption and collapse 7,700 years ago left a deep basin in its place. The destruction of this mountain, now called Mazama, took only days. An initial blast sent large volumes of rock and ash skyward, blanketing the Pacific Northwest in two feet of ash. Flows of hot gas-rich lava flooded from new vents encircling the mountain, draining the magma chamber beneath and removing its support, resulting in the mountain's collapse. Thick lava then oozed from the volcano, helping to seal the basin that would hold Crater Lake. After the collapse of the summit of the volcano, the caldera filled with water to form Crater Lake.

importantThe below photo is large and may take awhile to load, but it is such an informative and interesting photo of a poster that it had to be large to be appreciated. Please have patience while it loads.

large photo showing transformation form Mountain to a Lake

Each time the two RV Gypsies reached the brink of a cliff at an overlook, they saw below them an amazing expanse of ultramarine blue so rich in intensity like they have never seen before, and may never see again. It was difficult to stop taking photos from all different angles as the two RV Gypsies drove around Rim Road. But eventually they did photograph other amazing things besides Crater Lake in this National Park.

a beautiful panorama
Wizard Island in Crater Lake
Wizard Island in Crater Lake
Crater Lake at Crater Lake National Park
amazing cliffs

Lee Duquette was amazed at the beauty of Crater Lake. The white speck in the photo below on the right is a special boat run by the National Park. It is the only boat allowed on Crater Lake.

Lee Duquette is amazed at the beauty of Crater Lake
a special boat run by the National Park

The sharp, colorful lava cliffs surrounding Crater Lake.

The sharp, colorful lava cliffs surrounding Crater Lake.
The sharp, colorful lava cliffs surrounding Crater Lake.
The sharp, colorful lava cliffs surrounding Crater Lake.
looking almost straight down
Lee Duquette admiring the cliffs
beautiful lava cliffs
Wizard Island in all its beauty
panorama
amazing reflections at Crater Lake
amazing reflections at Crater Lake
such blue water in this panorama
Crater Lake
such blue water in this panorama
Crater Lake reflections
Crater Lake reflections
Crater Lake reflections
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Look below for more great adventures
go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesContinue the journey
through Crater Lake National Park
to see
Vidae Falls and learn about the Pinnacles