After getting up super duper early on Sunday morning, we left Bend for Crater Lake National Park. It's a pretty easy 1.5-2 hour drive from Bend, which is why we overnighted there. It makes the morning much smoother. It meant that we arrived at Crater Lake a little before 9AM. While the park was open, the visitors station and other amenities didn't open for another 15 minutes. Only a few other people were around, which was very serene and allowed us to stand in the best spots and just stare.
Education Time: Crater Lake was formed around 5600 B.C. when Mount Mazama erupted and caused a collapse that formed the caldera. Through a series of eruptions, the lake was formed and filled with rain and snow. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US (almost 2000 feet at its deepest point) and is 6 x 5 miles across. It makes for quite a site and has some absolutely amazing hiking (as well as part of the Pacific Crest Trail).
We spent most of the day hoping in and out of the car to take in the view and do a few shortish hikes. Much like the time in Bend, I spent half the day taking on and off my hiking boots. Why I can't just leave them on, I'll never know.
The one thing I really wanted to do was take a boat over to Wizard Island, a tiny island (technically a volcanic cinder cone) in the middle of the lake. Sadly, it is "winter" and the boat stopped running the week before (the real season in Crater Lake is very short). You can hike down to the boat, take it over to the island, then hike to the top. I hear it is a little rough, but nothing that can't be done in the short amount of time you have before you have to take the boat back. It will have to be a next summer thing though.
We were only there for about half the day before we had to start driving back to Portland, but it was a lot of fun. I also made sure to make a friend before I left.
Ever been to Crater Lake? Hiked on Wizard Island? I'd love to hear about it.