Crater Lake in Oregon – an absolute must see

Crater Lake

Crater Lake is the main attraction of Crater Lake National Park in south-central Oregon, about 80 miles northeast of the city of Medford. It’s a caldera lake formed by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama.

The deepest lake in the United States, it invites people to admire its crystalline blue waters. No rivers are running in or out of the lake. The only water it gets is from the rain and the snowfall.


Crater Lake Photo Credit
Crater Lake Photo Credit

With a depth of 1949 ft, Crater Lake is one of the most inspiring natural scenes in the area and even the country. The total amount of water in the lake is replaced every 250 years.


Another interesting feature of Crated Lake is the Old Man of the Lake, a 30-foot tree stump that has existed since 1896. The low temperatures of the water stops the tree from decomposing and help its longevity.

There are two islands on Crater Lake. Wizard Island which was formed after the crater started filling with water and the smaller Phantom Ship island that has trees and several species of wildflowers living on it. Over the years the name of the lake has changed, from Blue Lake to Lake Majesty, and finally Crater Lake.


Old man of Crater Lake Photo Credit
Old man of Crater Lake Photo Credit

Mount Mazama was built mostly of andesite and dacite during a period of 400,000 years. 8000 years ago there was a massive volcanic eruption that caused the formation of the caldera, now known as the Crater Lake.

Further lava eruptions helped the developing of Wizard and Phantom Ship islands, as well as other volcanic features.

In due course, the caldera cooled and started filling with rain and snowmelt. It took around 720 years for it to reach it’s depth of 1949 feet.


The water in Crater Lake is some of the cleanest and the clearest in the world due to the absence of pollutants. The clarity readings are showing constant results of 80 to 115 foot which is very clear for a natural body of water.


Wizard Island Photo Credit
Wizard Island Photo Credit

Crater Lake is a very sacred place for the Native American tribe called the Klamath. According to the legends passed down from their ancestors, who may have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama, there was a battle between two gods before the caldera was formed.

The belief is that Skell, the god of the sky and Llao, the god of the underworld destroyed Mount Mazama in a battle and that’s how Crater Lake was formed.

The Klamath people were using the lake for vision quests. The ones who succeeded in tasks like climbing the caldera walls were considered to have more spiritual powers.

The weather in the summer is mild and dry, but the winters are cold with lots of snow.


Mount Mazama Photo Credit
Mount Mazama Photo Credit


Crater Lake is a must see for any traveler that goes through Oregon. Its stunning beauty and exciting history shouldn’t be missed.

If you’re into natural beauty and adventure, you should put this place on your priority list for this summer travels.

Save travels!


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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival