Skip to main content

Crater Lake National Park: Deepest Lake in the U.S. With Unbelievable Beauty!

Our two-week Oregon vacation was fantastic, making us wish to someday see more of this most scenic of states in the beautiful northwest.

View of Crater Lake and Wizard Island

View of Crater Lake and Wizard Island

Crater Lake

You must see Oregon's only national park in-person to fully believe the unbelievable depth of color in this most beautiful setting!

Crater Lake became a national park during the Teddy Roosevelt presidency in 1902.
Altitude ranges from 4,405 to 8,926 feet above sea level. This national park is open year-round, with snow covering at least a portion of the park for about eight months of the year.

My mother, niece, and I traveled to Oregon to spend two weeks exploring different areas, and this article will address seeing this spectacular national park within its borders.

Mount Mazama

Mount Mazama erupted at various times throughout half a million years, and at its height, this mountain was about 12,000 feet tall. Located in the southwestern part of Oregon, a massive eruption finally caused Mt. Mazama to collapse, forming a caldera. Many inches of ash from the mountain eruption spread into eight states and three provinces of Canada.

Pumice Desert around Crater Lake

Pumice Desert around Crater Lake

Pumice Desert

Surrounding the caldera is a desert of ash called the Pumice Desert. It is eerily devoid of vegetation as the ash is 50 feet deep in most places. This pumice desert is in stark contrast to the lushness of foliage, waterfalls, and other sites we viewed in Oregon.

Interesting Facts About This Lake

The bowl-like caldera eventually began to collect rain, spring water, and snow and filled up to become the beautiful site it is today. The color of the water is an intense blue due to the light refraction in its deep waters.

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States at 1932 feet or 589 meters, and the 7th deepest in the entire world. Lake Baikal in Siberia has the distinction of being the deepest lake at a depth of 5712 feet or 1741 meters.

Native Americans first discovered this lake, according to legend. John Wesley Hillman and some prospectors found the lake in 1853 and named it "Deep Blue Lake."

Crater Lake has a closed ecosystem with no streams of water running into or out of the lake. The water level remains relatively constant, fluctuating only about 3 feet. In the year we were there (1987), they were still allowing boat tours on the lake. Some debate ensued whether they would keep doing that as they did not want anything to destroy this natural beauty and treasure.

We chose not to take that boat tour, but my young niece and I walked the steep 1.1-mile trail down to the water's edge while my mother stayed at the top. Only hearty souls get to see the lake from below because of the steep hike in both directions. No wheelchair access here for sure!

“A lake so vibrant in color that it looks like a fine art painting.”

— Stefanie Payne, A Year in the National Parks: The Greatest American Road Trip

Rim Drive

What is readily accessible to anyone with a vehicle is a 33-mile drive along the rim of Crater Lake.

High peaks surround the rim, and one sees a diversity of fir trees, lodgepole, and Ponderosa pines, as well as various shrubs and wildflowers. At each stop along the rim drive, the ever-present chipmunks were begging for a handout from the vacationers.

Many waysides are available so that people can pull off the two-way road and soak up the beauty from many different angles from above, looking down into the azure waters. It is open around mid-July until closed by falling snow, which is generally sometime in October. So vacationers who wish to see this need to plan their trips accordingly.

Even though it was August, we found some snow and had a snowball fight.

Even though it was August, we found some snow and had a snowball fight.

Scroll to Continue


Crater Lake Lodge, built in the year 1909, had additions added between 1923 and 1953. The Lodge sits on the rim about 900 feet above the lake.

The construction is incredibly rustic, using rocks and logs. Amenities that we take for granted today, like shampoo, and the like, were not included. We paid extra to have a bathroom in our newer cottage, as most rooms did not have those facilities. We had a claw-footed tub and commode in the bathroom with the tiny sink in the bedroom due to space considerations. The mattresses we slept on (or attempted to sleep on) were primitive. Think hammock in a closet-sized room! Hopefully, those mattresses are newer by now. Ha!

Our room did have a spectacular view of the lake that we enjoyed.

One sees some lovely mountain meadow trails when hiking around the lake. We took advantage of this, and the following pictures will show some of what we got to view.

If you wish to see the deepest blue water ever imagined, put Crater Lake National Park in Oregon on your travel plans, and you will not be disappointed!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed. Thank you!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2021:

Hi Denise,

I hope your dream of visiting Crater Lake comes true. Wishing you many blessings at the beginning of a new week.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2021:

Hi Denise,

I hope your dream comes true someday so that you can view the almost unbelievable colors of Crater Lake. Wishing you a great week ahead.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 15, 2021:

It is one more place I'd love to see someday. I've read about it and seen some video footage of it but to see it with my own eyes would be wonderful. Thanks for sharing.



Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

Yes, we decided that having that bathroom, while tiny, was worth it. I hope your dreams of traveling out west materialize someday. Crater Lake is amazing to see, as are other sites in the west. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

Crater Lake is unbelievably beautiful with the refraction of the sky and depth of that water. I am so glad you enjoyed seeing it virtually from the pictures and videos. Enjoy your week also, and thanks for your comment.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 15, 2021:


What a great article. I wish one day I can go out West.

Whenever that day comes I'm gonna take your articles with me.

I've been down a few trails that definitely are not handicapped acessed. Rugged and a long way back.

I can't imagine not having a bathroom in a room.

Glad you paid extra.

Take care & have a nice day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

I am so glad you enjoyed learning about this spectacular lake and national park in Oregon. Thanks for your comment.

Misbah Sheikh on March 14, 2021:

Peggy, this place looks wonderful

A very well written hub

I liked the pictures and the picture of your mother and niece is very cute

Thanks for sharing

Have a blessed week


Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 14, 2021:

Truly unbelievable. This is so beautiful, Peggy. I enjoyed reading your article.

Somehow, I missed this one earlier, when you published it.

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 14, 2021:

The colors of this lake must be seen to be believed! Amazing beauty!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 27, 2018:

Hi Robert,

I have been fortunate. Travel has always been of interest to me and I relish those memories and experiences above other things.

Robert Sacchi on January 27, 2018:

You have gone to many majestic places.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 27, 2018:

Hi Robert,

Very happy to be able to introduce you to places like Crater Lake National Park. I also like reading other people's travel articles of places that I have never experienced.

Robert Sacchi on January 26, 2018:

This article is great and the pictures and videos are wonderful. I really love your travelogue articles. They give an up close and personal look at places I've either never heard about or never think about.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 16, 2017:

Hi Susie,

So glad you liked my Crater Lake hub. The color of that water was absolutely amazing!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on February 15, 2017:

It is amazing how a crater lake is formed. This is one national park I know I would enjoy seeing for myself. I'd love to take a dip in the water.

Lovely tour, Peggy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 29, 2013:

Hello GetitScene,

Crater Lake is definitely that...a beautiful natural wonder! So glad that you and your wife got to enjoy it. The color of the water is just so amazing! Thanks for your comment.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on May 28, 2013:

Love crater lake. My wife and I went there a few years ago and it was beautiful. Magnificent natural wonder.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2013:

Hi Sheila,

With your love of travel, I know that you would enjoy visiting Crater Lake and other places in the beautiful State of Oregon. Glad that you enjoyed this hub. Appreciate your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2013:

Hi Don,

This being the deepest lake in all of North is surely interesting not only for that fact but the deep rich colors that come from light reflecting off of it. Yes...I think that many lakes have originated from depressions in the earth for whatever cause. Perhaps someday you will head out that way to see it? Thanks for your comment and the rest. :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 17, 2013:

Hi moonlake,

It would be wonderful if you could get out to Oregon someday. Crater Lake is an amazing national park but there are so many other wondrous things to see in that beautiful state that it would be a great destination for a vacation. Thanks for the 5 stars, votes and share.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on April 17, 2013:

What a beautiful place! I would love to travel there someday. Your information is excellent and so are your pictures! I enjoyed learning more about Crater Lake. Voting up, interesting and beautiful! :)

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on April 17, 2013:

Hi Peggy, What I find most interesting is the lake being created by water filling in a natural depression in the Earth. A sign, in a way or the planet renewing itself. I've noticed in mining country like northern Minnesota that old open pit mines have felled with water and become lakes(at least I think that is what happened.) Crater lake would be interesting and impressive to see. voted up, awesome, 5 stars. sharing.

moonlake from America on April 16, 2013:

Enjoyed your hub, beautiful pictures five stars, up and shared. I would love to visit a place like this.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2013:

Hi Margaret,

Nice that you have gotten to see this spectacular site in person. Like you said, the color of the water in Crater Lake is absolutely amazing. Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

As you said, Spring has surely sprung in Houston, Texas also. Azaleas are in bloom all around town including those in our yard. So glad that you enjoyed learning about Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Thanks for the votes, 5 star rating and the share.

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on February 24, 2013:

Crater Lake is so beautiful - saw it in 2010, and was amazed at the beautiful color of the lake. Great hub with wonderful pictures and lots of good information - voted up++

C E Clark from North Texas on February 24, 2013:

The photos and scenery on the videos is so beautiful! You are so lucky to have seen them firsthand! I've never been to Oregon.

I can't even imagine 50 feet of pumice or a lake more than a thousand feet deep. Learned a lot from this hub. Wish I could get into the car right now and go there, although it would probably be nicer in 2 or 3 months when the weather warms up. With spring already sprung here in North Texas, I forget sometimes that it's still winter up North.

Voted up, BAUI, and will share! Oh, and I always almost forget to mention that I gave you 5 more stars.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 15, 2012:

Hi sweetie,

Crater Lake is truly beautiful in color because of it being one of the deepest lakes in the world. So glad that you liked these photos. I appreciate your comment, vote and the share. Thanks!

sweetie1 from India on December 15, 2012:

Very beautiful pictures. Really loved the lake. And your niece is cute too. voted up and shared.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2012:

Hi again Photoshark,

What a nice job you have...that of taking photos for a living. It is a hobby with me but I have loved taking pictures ever since I got my first Brownie camera as a youngster. Have been taking photos ever since. I love my new digital camera! Unlike you, I have never had a really expensive camera with all of the various lens, filters and such. Would be fun, however! Will look forward to viewing more of your photos in hubs.

Leroy Brown from Lafayette Orgon on September 07, 2012:

Well I lived on Lake Michigan for nearly twenty years. Seen Lake Tahoe and Hetch Hetchy. I don't just like taking pictures it's my job thanks for the comment:)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2012:

Hello Photoshark317,

I take it from your name that you like taking photos. You will LOVE Crater Lake National Park!!! The colors are amazing! Nice that you live as close as you do to Oregon's only national park. Well worth a visit! Thanks for your comment.

Leroy Brown from Lafayette Orgon on September 07, 2012:

It's definitely on my list. And it's doable since I live in Oregon

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 22, 2011:

Hi Brian Burton,

So glad that you liked this hub about Crater Lake National Park. It is truly pretty! Thanks for your comment.

Brian Burton on October 22, 2011:

Wow, so pretty. Very interesting article : )

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 23, 2011:

Hello crater lake national park,

We also loved visiting Crater Lake for all the reasons you just listed. It is an amazing site! Thanks for your comment.

crater lake national park on May 23, 2011:

There are many site i have opened but this one is very nice. I love Crater Lake National Park because it contains America’s deepest lake (almost 700 meters or 2000 feet in depth) which is known around the world for its beautiful, deep blue color. Also it offers numerous overlooks and access to walking trails.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 02, 2010:

Hello Website Examiner,

Actually this was one of my earlier hubs and I'll probably go back in and re-scan the pictures and perhaps add more when I get time, but thanks for the compliment.

Will definitely go and read your hub about copyright protection. Thanks!

Website Examiner on July 02, 2010:

In response to your forum thread question, I wrote a hub on proactive copyright protection. I have lived in Oregon but never had the opportunity to visit Crater Lake. Beautiful and well-written hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 06, 2009:

You won't be sorry, Chelsea. It is absolutely gorgeous!

Chelsea H on March 06, 2009:

I think it's funny I've lived here 4 years now and still haven't made an effort to go here. After reading this It's about time I stop goofing around and go!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 13, 2008:

Lucky you! to have been there more than once.

Jerilee Wei from United States on December 13, 2008:

Great hub! Brought back many memories of having been there several times as a kid on family vacations.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 12, 2008:

Go! See! The entire state of Oregon is gorgeous! Intend to write more about our trip there. I am breaking it up because one blog would be entirely too long.

Thanks for commenting.

B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on December 12, 2008:

Those photos are gorgeous! This is one of the places I've always wanted to see.

Related Articles