Hiking Adventures in Crater Lake National Park

hiking
The intrepid early explorers Lewis and Clark were perhaps the first non-aboriginal explorers to discover Crater Lake and report their findings back to President Jefferson, but they were certainly not the last and today some half a million visitors enjoy the wonderful scenery of the Crater Lake National Park every year.

The crystal blue lake, which is ringed by 2,000 foot mountains, is the thing that picture postcards are made of and the area offers a wealth of hiking, biking, boating and horseback riding. Indeed, Crater Lake is truly one of the Unites States’ most outstanding national parks.

One thing which makes the area certainly feel special is the fact that at 1,940 feet Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and was formed more than 7,700 years ago by the eruption of the nearby Mount Mazama.

There are many spots along the 33 mile route around the lake from which you can see unparalleled views such as that of Phantom Rock seen from Kerr Notch, or Wizard Island seen from Sun Notch. And there are also numerous hikes that simply cannot be matched anywhere else.

On the east side of the lake hiking trails lead up to Mount Scott, while on the south side Crater Peak can be quite easily reached from Rim Drive. One of the nicest hikes of all, especially for novice hikers, is along the north side where the Cleetwood Cove trail leads down to the lake and you generally find deer feeding as you walk along this particular trail. You can also visit the volcano on Wizard Island from Cleetwood Cove and peek inside the 90 foot wide opening to the cinder cone after climbing the 800 foot trail.

Now, if like me you enjoy fishing, then there is a very nice trail which leads to Fumarole Bay where you will find a plentiful supply of both rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. And, best of all, you do not need a permit and there is no limit on the number of fish you can catch!

However, for those who are really looking for a hiking challenge then there is nothing quite like the long, steep and winding hike up the 9,000 foot Mount Scott. As with most arduous hikes the rewards are of course well worth the effort and, as well as a magnificent view of the lake, you will also be able to see Mount Shasta and Mount Jefferson clear over in California.

If you would like to visit the area during the winter then you will certainly not be disappointed although you will need to take your snow shoes with you. And, if you are really fit then there is always the 33 mile cross country ski route around the lake.

The Crater Lake National Park is certainly not one of the largest national parks but it is one of the most beautiful and is wonderful place to plan a hiking trip.