After experiencing so many gorgeous bodies of water during my travels thus far, I decided that Crater Lake National Park was a must see. Everyone I’d met who had been there, put the park in their top 5 of all time. So, off I went to explore it!
At its deepest point, Crater Lake is 1,943 feet deep and resides at an elevation of 6,173 ft above sea level. The 6-mile expanse of the lake (at its widest point), reveals water so pure that other colors of the spectrum are absorbed, leaving blue wavelengths scattered and visible to the human eye. –NPS website
The science behind it is absolutely fascinating (at least to me it is!), but you have to see it to believe it. Similar to Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park in WA, the water is so blue, it looks fake. Thank goodness I couldn’t really see the lake until I had parked my bike and walked across the parking lot, because the sight of it stopped me dead in my tracks.
I started my 33-mile, clockwise ride of Rim Drive from Rim Village, which provided an awe-inspiring first glimpse of the lake from Sinnot Memorial Overlook and a short little walk along Discovery Point trail. The brochure says to allow 2-3 hours to travel around the lake, but I took three times that long to follow the sweeping curves of the caldera wall before completing my circumnavigation of the lake. Simply unbelievable!
As you can tell from the photos, none of which were light or color enhanced in any way, Crater Lake lives up to all the hype. My Rim Drive ended at the Visitor Center that showed a movie titled, Into the Deep, about the history and creation of Crater Lake as well as the Park’s continuing monitoring and research efforts to better understand the biological, physical, geochemical, and climatological processes that affect the lake. Because 4.9 trillion gallons of some of the purest water on earth is certainly worth protecting 🙂