Crater Lake, 1958 feet deep, is the deepest lake in the United
States. Mount Mazama began the climactic eruptions about 7700
years ago. The Mazama magma chamber was emptied and the volcano
collasped, leaving a huge bowl-shaped caldera which formed the
Crater Lake. No stream runs into or out of the lake, so it is
considered a closed ecological system. The clean, clear, cold
lakewater contained no fish until they were introduced by human
from 1888 to 1941.
Getting there ...
|We drove to Crater Lake from Lassen via Highway
89, I-5, and 62. It's about 4-hour driving but we had to
stop by McDonald's (at Medford) to let Linus and Iris
play for a while so they won't complain too much.
The First Day ...
- Sunset at the Rim Vaillage
We arrived at Crater Lake just right after 7:00PM. After
checked in the Crater Lake Lodge, I walked to a view
point to wait for sunset. I met a professional
photographer John and had a nice chat with him. The
timing was good to capture the last light of the day.
The Second Day ...
- Sunrise at the Rim Village
The advantage to stay at the Crater Lake Lodge was that I
can just walked to the rim of the lake. I went back to
the same vista point and met John again. Although the
view point was facing northeast and was not the best
place for sunrise, the warm morning light was as fresh as
- Rim Drive
Rim Drive is a 33-mile road that circles the caldera rim.
Many pullouts along the way provide scenic lake views.
- Sun Notch and Kerr Notch
||An easy 0.5-mile round
trip trail leads to an overlook of the
lake and Phantom Ship, which is the
remains of a dike in the oldest part of
the caldera wall. Kerr Notch is another
good view point for Phantom Ship.
- There are too many view points around the Rim
Drive. We began to skip some of the vista points
along the way because it was too windy and it was
also getting a little boring.
- The Watchman
The Watchman vista has the best view of Wizard Island
along the Rim Drive. Most visitors just stop here and
walk to the rim from the parking lot. Not many people
took the trail (1.4-mile round trip) climbing 500 feet up
to the Watchman peak where an old fire lookout tower is
on the top of the peak. Linus walked on his own all the
way to the top without any break. The view at the peak is
well worth the effort.
The Third Day ...
- Sunrise and Moonset at the Watchman
It was a perfect time and perfect location to photograph
both sunrise and moonset. There were about 10 people also
waiting for sunrise (I haven't seen this many people in
the early morning before), but none of them paid
attention to the setting moon at the other side. In fact,
I thought the moon was more attractive to me this
- Cleetwood Trail and Boat Tour
Cleetwood Trail is the only trail which can access to the
lake shore. We got there at 9:20AM and planned to take
the 10AM boat tour, but it was alread sold out and we got
11AM boat tour instead. The trail descends 700 feet in 1
mile to the lake, so the returning hike will be a
chanllenge for us. The boat tour last for about 1 hour
and 40 min, and it was quite informative and the view was
totally different from the Rim Drive. We circled the
lake, stopped by Wizard Island (some people got off the
boat) and Phantom Ship, and we even detoured a little bit
to pick up a balloon flaoting in the lake. Linus was very
excited in the beginning, but he almost fell asleep at
the end of the tour. And Iris fell asleep just right
after the departure and didn't wake up until we were about to
return to the deck.
As we predicted, the hike back was quite a challenge.
Linus was hungry and sleepy, and not in a very good mood.
We had to use all sort of tricks to make him walk
further, and we stopped at nearly all the resting benches
along the trail. Finally, it took us about 50 min to walk
back to the trail head.
- The Pinnacles
||The pinnacles are interesting
formations. They are remnants of ash flows. As the
flows filled glacial valleys, vents formed and
hot gases escaped. The pinnacles are cemented
pipes of these ancient fumaroles; erosion has
removed the softer materials.
||We went back to the Crater Lake
Lodge to take a break and decide to go to the
cafeteria to have a nice dinner tonight. After
dinner, Linus, Iris, and I (Woanyu drove back to
the Lodge earlier because ......) walked back to
the Lodge along the trail by the lake.
The Last Day ...
Well, it's not really the last day for our trip. It's our last
day in Crater Lake, but we decided not to drive all the way back
home (it will take about 8 hours to do so). We will stay at
Redding for one night and head back home on the next day.
It's Woanyu's turn to see sunrise today. She not only saw
the sunrise, she also had 2 free cups of coffee in the Lodge
lobby. After breakfast (there were so few people in the
cafeteria today), we walked to the rim behind the Lodge
to say goodbye to the lake.
- Godfrey Glen Trail
This 1-mile loop is a gentle level hike winding through
old forests and provides several overlooks of Annie Creek
Canyon. Linus and Iris liked to chase each other and kicked
a lot of dust to the air. It was a leisured walk
without many photo opportunities though.
|We took another route via Klamath Falls
back to California. Mt. Shasta dominates the landscape
from Klamath Falls (Highway 97) to Weed (I-5). I could
not resist to stop to snap a few pictures of this massive
volcano. We arrived at Redding around 4:00PM. We were all
very glad to be back to civilization: we haven't watched
TV for one week!
Going Home ...
One the way home next day (9/5), we decided to detour to
Sacramento to visit the
Railroad Museum. After 7 days, 6 nights,
and 1400 miles, we finally concluded our wonderful summer
vacation this year.
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