National Park Geek Series - Crater Lake


National Park Geek Series - Crater Lake


In 2014, we went on a 17 day trip of the west coast. It was by far my favorite trips to date. When we visited Crater Lake, it was only a drive through stop on the 4th day of our 17 day tour of the west coast. I labelled this trip itinerary the West Coast Massive Road Trip Adventure. We flew into Portland and explored the city as well as the Columbia River Gorge (beautiful hiking here.) We then headed south to California while hitting multiple scenic stops along the way. Oregon claims to have 7 of their own natural wonders and we saw six of them: Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, Smith Rock, Painted Hills, Crater Lake, and the Oregon Coast. We then visited Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. From Yosemite, we drove to Big Sur and then drove the coast from Big Sur to Astoria, Oregon. Driving HWY 1 and 101 on the West coast should be on everyone's bucket list!


Jumping back to Crater Lake: it’s so incredibly blue and beautiful. The lake was formed by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. It is the deepest lake in the United States. Crater Lake is also known for the "Old Man of the Lake"; a full-sized tree which is now a log that has been bobbing vertically in the lake for over a century. It also features two small islands: Wizard Island, located near the western shore of the lake, is a large cinder cone. The other is Phantom Ship, a natural rock pillar, located near the southern shore.


You can drive the Rim Drive which circles the entire lake with multiple scenic stops along the way. We drove half of it, riding along the eastern side of the lake. I would highly recommend you drive at least part of it. There are many different angles to take in this beautiful lake, each one offering something unique.


We also hiked the Watchman Peak trail. It’s a pretty steep out-and-back trail, but it’s not very long, only about three quarters of a mile (one way). It only took us about an hour to complete the trail and take plenty of pictures. Also, if you could benefit from more cardio exercise (like me) and get “winded” easily, it’s important to note that it’s much easier coming down. At the top of the trail you can find an active fire lookout tower with a spectacular view of the entire lake.

I would definitely go back, there are lots of sights in Oregon that I wish we had more time for but more on that later. Go see Crater Lake and bring a jacket, it can be chilly during most of the year.


Have you ever been to Crater Lake?


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Trip Planning Wizard