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
Show More
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Worth the drive!

No matter what part of the Country you’re in, you absolutely have to visit this beautiful lake! Anytime of the year it’s amazing. My personal favorite is the sunrise, the colors it illuminates is unexplainable! Have to come for yourself to see the beauty! Love love!

Peaceful and Quiet

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.

A Bucket Lister

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Snowshoe or XC Ski to Watchman Overlook

Starting at the Rim Village parking area, this snowshoe/cross-country ski trip (whichever you choose) heads out on snow-covered West Rim Drive, bound for the saddle between Hillman Peak and The Watch.

111 Saves

Bike around Crater Lake

I forgot how large Crater Lake was. Wikipedia said it was only 6 miles in diameter, multiply X 3.14 or C = πd and boom its only 18.84 miles around, that's cake, or pie.

120 Saves

Watch the Sunrise at Crater Lake

Drive to the overlook at Crater Lake well before sunrise. Actually, you should probably just sleep in your car for a bit to make sure you're not late for this incredible sight.

388 Saves