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Published: September 20th 2013
Yesterday we drove the 33 mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake. The road is aptly named, as we did indeed travel on the edge of the rim of the crater. Many of the pullouts were perched on steep cliffs, offering panoramic views - - as well as causing a bit of vertigo. The lake rests inside a caldera formed about 7700 years ago when Mt. Mazama erupted and its summit collapsed. The lake is fed by rain and snowmelt, and at 1900 feet deep, is the deepest lake in the U.S. The depth accounts for its intensely blue color. The lake is also considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world.
There is an island in the lake, Wizard Island, named for its resemblance to a sorcerer’s hat. It is a cinder cone rising 767 feet above the lake and is built of cinders ejected from the caldera after the mountain collapsed. It is called a “volcano within a volcano.” Another interesting island is called “Phantom Ship.” It resembles a small sailboat and it looks quite small in the lake, but is actually as tall as a 16 story building.
We ate lunch at the Crater Lake Lodge; another of the many rustic National Park lodges built in the early 1900’s. For those not into strenuous hiking on the many trails within the park, the rocking chairs on the deck offer a nice alternative. We continue to be awed by the National Park system.
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