We're taking a year off to travel! travel blog





We had originally planned to stay in this park since it is quite large and we thought we would need more time to enjoy the scenery. As it turned out, the price was rather steep and the spaces were pretty tight for our size of RV, thus we ended up in LaPine. This turned out to be a good thing considering the many things we would have missed otherwise.

Anyway, back to Crater Lake. For 400,00 years repeated volcanic eruptions built 12,000 foot Mount Mazama. Thick lava oozed from vents on the mountains. Crater Lake was formed when Mount Mazama had a most violent eruption about 7,700 years ago. New vents encircling the subsiding peak brought hot flows of pumice, ash and gas down it’s sides. As the magma chamber emptied, the mountain could not support its own weight and collapsed, forming a deep caldera. The deep basin filled with centuries of rain and snowfall. No streams run into the lake and there is no outlet. Wizard Island, a volcano within a volcano, erupted after the lake began to fill. Mazama is not an extinct volcano; it may awaken with a new eruptive phase sometime in the future. The lake is 4.54 to 6.02 miles across and 1,943 feet deep at the deepest point. It is the deepest lake in the United States. Only about 2% of the lake bottom have been explored.

We were fortunate to choose a perfectly clear day to visit the lake. The ranger at the entrance station said they had snow 3 days before. Because of that, and because of the lingering winter snow (averaging 533 inches per year), we were not able to drive the full circumference of the lake. But what we did see was breathtaking. It was the most beautiful blue possible. And they even had an explanation for that! Because it is filled exclusively with rainwater and snowmelt, there is not a great deal of sediment to cloud the pure waters. Other colors of the spectrum are absorbed; blue wavelengths are scattered and seen by the human eye.

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