Crater Lake in Oregon is one of those places that has been on my list for a very long time. I remember seeing it on a National Geographic special when I was a kid. I have been drawn to it ever since.  I have always loved mountain lakes and Crater Lake is the Queen of all mountain lakes.  The crater was formed from the caldera of a collapsed volcano. At it’s deepest, the lake is 2000 feet deep.  It is this depth that gives the water the dark blue color that everyone marvels at.  Every viewing point of the lake provides it’s own postcard picture moment.  The rim trail is perched several hundred feet above the lake. This perspective provides an awesome way to see this natural wonder.

With that said…. I would not recommend ever going there and I will never be back.  Crater Lake is a “drive through” park. It is a one hit wonder that offers little more than a series of viewpoints of the lake.


Yes the lake is gorgeous.  Yes the volcanic history is amazing. And yes it certainly makes for some impressive pictures to stick in one’s blog.  Other then that though, the downsides of getting to this place outweighs the benefits.  The driving was picturesque and easy, but it is a lot of miles through the middle nowhere on the way to nowhere.  Now if you have nothing but time and money, then I would say by all means, go see Crater Lake.  If however like us your vacation time is limited and your wallet is not busting at the seams….I could recommend many other destinations that offer more for less.

We ended up camping about 30 miles down the road at Newberry National Volcanic Monument.  It was not all that different from Crater Lake, but on a smaller scale.  We did a little fishing, a little hiking on the lava flows and promptly hit the road for Idaho the following morning.  Oh yeah. Did I mention that everywhere we have been so far other than Redding, CA has been cold. I mean really cold. One morning we woke up to temps in the 30’s and the daytime temps have not been out of the 60’s .  We are fine with this, but it has been a bit of a surprise.