Arriving at Crater Lake National Park


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North America » United States » Oregon » Crater Lake
June 16th 2020
Published: June 18th 2020
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We’re at Crater Lake!

The national park greeted us with fog and snow. It’s cold (there is a high of 37 degrees), and the fog became so thick that we could only see about 30 feet in front of us while we drive. There’s no hope of seeing the lake today, I’m afraid!

That said, the snow-covered trees are beautiful. We’re staying at Crater Lake Lodge, and it looks picturesque, like it belongs on a Christmas card. The problem with that is that it’s June, not December!

When I read the forecast for the national park before we left, Crater Lake National Park was supposed to have highs in the 60s and low 70s. The nights looked cold, and I knew some of the park was still under snow, so I packed snow boots, snow pants, coats, hats, and mittens “just in case.” I felt a little ridiculous packing those things, especially since they filled up their own suitcase, but now I’m so glad I did! I’m also glad I packed sweatpants for the kids. It’s starting to look like all the shorts and Ts were a waste of space, but that’s OK!

Thanks to the snow and fog, some of our hiking plans went out the window. I thought we’d start our trip here with hiking Discovery Trail by our lodge. It’s so snowy and windy that we ended up choosing to drive to Discovery Point instead. I think we drove through the worst of the fog. Let me tell you, it's a little nerve-wracking to drive on a foggy road up a mountain side! We took our time and drove to Discovery Point and to Watchman Point. Both excursions were humorous because all we could see was fog when we looked down at the lake. On the plus side, most areas were nearly empty. It's nice to relax a bit and enjoy the park without worrying about staying distant from others because, well, there's no one else! Actually, there was one woman at one of the pullouts. She was on Facebook Live and telling someone how excited she was to see Crater Lake. She then held her phone out giving a panorama of the “view” that is non-existent. We giggled along as we listened.

Really, there wasn’t much to see at all. We finally gave up trying to do much in the way of
Great Views of the Fog!Great Views of the Fog!Great Views of the Fog!

The views cleared up the next day, but on our arrival day, we couldn't see Crater Lake.
hiking and sightseeing, and we decided to just enjoy one another’s company.

Paul and Colleen are staying at a nearby campground. They parked their RV at one of the large vehicle pull-through spots at Rim Village, and we made lunch in the RV and played some rounds of Exploding Kittens. Through the window, we would see the snow falling, and we listened to the plink-plink sound of ice hitting the roof. So, maybe it wasn’t what we planned in terms of hiking and exploring, but it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Later, when I asked their kids their favorite part of the day, they both said it was playing Exploding Kittens with their grandma.

Later

Shortly after writing that blog post for the morning and afternoon, the snow stopped temporarily. We seized the brief moment and headed outside and try the Discovery Trail.

Discovery Trail starts by the lodge. We walked westward, and the trail follows an overlook of Crater Lake. Periodically, the fog cleared enough that we could finally see some of the lake! At one point, we could make out Wizard Island (the volcano/island in the lake), and we even briefly saw the other side of the crater across the lake.

Parts of the trail were covered in a bit of snow. We slowly made our way through. By the time we reached Rim Village, the trail was completely covered in snow. There were signs asking guests to stay on the trails, but we could no longer see the trail under the mounds of snow. We finally gave up and turned around to make our way back. If I was to guess, we only walked half a mile total, there and back, but it was nice to get out and explore a bit. We were rewarded with a few views, too (enough to confirm there really is a lake here).

The front desk staff was informing people that the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow. Apparently, it's been a bit icky like this for a few days. We feel fortunate that our whole trip won't be foggy and snowy, so we'll actually get to see more of the national park. We look forward to a little more sight-seeing tomorrow!

Even Later

I'm glad we ventured out when we did. Shortly after we came back to the
Eating lunch in Paul & Colleen's CamperEating lunch in Paul & Colleen's CamperEating lunch in Paul & Colleen's Camper

Rim Village at Crater Lake
lodge, the fog rolled back in, and the snow continued to fall. It's just above freezing, so none of it is sticking. Hopefully that means hiking will be OK tomorrow.

Below is a video of our view from the lodge of the June snow fall.






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Discovery TrailDiscovery Trail
Discovery Trail

We can kind of see Crater Lake!


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