• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible

Deepest Lake in North America. Tons of breathtaking viewpoints to hike. A must for anyone that loves natural beauty.

Crater is a short 20min drive up Highway 62 off of the 97. We were chasing sunset and caught the last glimmers of twilight. Just driving around the west rim is amazing. Pictures did absolutely no justice to this place, you have to see it with your own eyes...it's MASSIVE!!! Every small pull-off/parking spaces have their own trails leading off them to different view points around the rim of the Caldera. So just pick your favorite and go exploring.

A few quick facts:
  • Crater Lake is the seventh deepest in the world. (1,996 ft)
  • Crater Lake is isolated from surrounding streams and rivers, thus there is no inlet or outlet to the lake
  • Formed around 7,700 by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama
  • The lake is 5 by 6 miles across
  • The Mazama eruption which eventually formed Crater Lake was 42 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
  • It took 250 years of rain and snow accumulation for the caldera(a large volcanic crater formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano.) to fill to its present-day lake level

Pack List

  • $10 per Car (7 day pass) or check for free days
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Jacket or Windbreaker (gets a little windy on the rim)
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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We got to the lake just before a spectacular early-summer sunset. The park was nearly deserted, so we watched the sunset in almost total silence and seclusion. Colors across the water, on the mountains and in the sky were super intense. A really really special and beautiful place. Definitely on our list for a return visit.

8 months ago
8 months ago

Crater Lake is a special place; like Yosemite, Yellowstone, or even the Redwoods pictures do not do Crater Lake justice and you need to see it in person to truly appreciate how special a place it is.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Pictures can't show the actual beauty of Crate Lake. If you go during summer, the water is a brilliant royal blue, and incredibly clear. You have to see it to believe it.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Crater Lake doesn't need a review just go there because it is simply amazing. My one tip is don't expect to drive up the day of and land a campsite. Plan in advance if you want to camp there.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It really is hard to capture this place in pictures. The lake is so massive and blue; every stop along the drive provides a different perspective!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Crater lake may,for all intents and purposes, be closed during the winter months but it's still a great stop on a road trip if you are in the area. I stopped by in early spring on my way to Portland and despite there being 10+ ft of snow on the ground, I was still able to enjoy a fantastic view of the lake. Can't wait to visit in summer!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This place is incredible and one of the best natural wonders of North America, if you can see it. I've been here in March trying to wait out a multi-day a blizzard to see the lake, but finally saw it on another trip in May. If you're coming here to get great photos you'll likely have to wait a few days for good conditions.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Hike down to the boat launch and dive off the rocks. Crystal clear water.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

we feel pretty grateful to call Klamath Falls home, allowing us to visit Crater lake several times a year. My favorite.... winter cross country skiing right around sunset! do it!!! the only thing. it says dog-friendly, but it's a national park, and they do not allow dogs on trails. so we can't ever bring our furry daughter. :/

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

One of the most magical places I have ever seen. Believe it or not, being there is MORE beautiful than the photos can even begin to depict.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Such a beautiful view. Good place for pictures. I went when it was snowy and it was so pretty.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Not a single picture or description can do this place any justice. Crater lake was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen: the water is this extreme shade of blue and yet its nearly see-through at the shallow portions along the rim. I came here in mid august and yes the fires and smoke are easily visible from the western rim and the northern entrance, however it was perfectly clear over the lake for great photos. We did a drive through trip going through only a portion of the rim and taking photos but I would recommend planning to spend at least a night here as there is so much to explore, and after seeing the lake you will definitely want to find one of the trails to go down and even swim in it!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Crater Lake is VERY SMOKY right now. We were there on 8/2/15 and the smoke was so thick you couldn't see the opposite side of the rim. The iconic crystal blue of the lake water was reached with slate grey. The smoke makes for very dramatic photos, and a different experience that usual. Worth it? You decide. ;o)

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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