Located in southwest Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is an extraordinary mixture of serene natural beauty, unspoiled alpine grandeur, and authentic National Park charm all with an intense volcanic history. It is a place of deep fascination for visitors and scientists alike.
Crater Lake is best known for its intense blue color and pristine water. This stunning lake was formed when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed after an enormous eruption. This collapse formed a deep caldera, which over time has filled with rainwater and snowfall. There are no rivers or streams that flow in or out of the lake, making its waters some of the purest in the world. Because of its location just 100 miles from the Pacific coast and in the heart of the towering Cascade Range, Crater Lake receives a huge amount of snowfall. This not only keeps the lake replenished but it has made Crater Lake the deepest lake in the United States.
During the short summer season, recreational activities are endless in this mountain paradise. Spend an afternoon biking the 33 miles around the rim of the lake, taking it in from every angle. Hike through the diverse old-growth forests or across meadows filled wildflowers. Climb to the highest point in the park on Mount Scott for breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding peaks. While you are marveling at the extreme natural beauty of the lake keep an eye out for the Old Man of the Lake, a log that has been bobbing around in the pristine waters for over 115 years! You will also see the Phantom Ship which is a small, jagged island visible from several locations around the rim. This island acquired its eerie name because during foggy or stormy weather it looks like a ghostly ship out on the water.
In addition to the National Park, southern Oregon has so much to offer the active traveler. With miles of rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, unspoiled rivers, lush forests, and endless trails there is no shortage of adventure here. River and nature lovers alike will enjoy a day of whitewater rafting the gorgeous Rouge River which flows out of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean. Just two hours from Crater Lake you will find the hip town of Ashland, Oregon. Most famous for its amazing Shakespeare Festival, Ashland has plenty of culture, nightlife and dining options to satisfy your vacation desires. The Shakespeare Festival runs an impressive eight months and performs over 750 shows and allows visitors to experience classical Shakespeare as well as other amazing performances. 2013 offerings include The Taming of The Shrew, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a Streetcar Named Desire, My Fair Lady and many more.
Whether it is the allure and curiosity of Crater Lake National Park or just an overall need for adventure and the outdoors, southern Oregon will satisfy your every desire. It is worth a visit!