Almost 8,000 years ago the earth shook and a mountain in southern Oregon literally crumbled forming Crater Lake. For a new Oregon resident such as myself, the story behind Crater Lake seemed to be that of mere legend. Last summer, my friends and I decided to get out and explore our backyard to see for ourselves the majesty of Crater Lake.
We entered the park and decided to stop at the first parking lot we saw to gain bearings on our location to the lake. We ascended the sandy ridge and much to our surprise we were met with a panoramic view of Crater Lake in all it’s dusk golden grandeur. Nature rarely elicits butterflies in my stomach, but this time was the exception. It was too big. It was too beautiful. It was too still.
We spent the weekend exploring the “crater” which is technically a caldera, a cauldron like formation resulting from the collapse of a volcano.
Crater Lake is 5 by 6 miles wide, 1,949 ft at it’s deepest point, with the staggering cliffs surrounding it up to 2,000 ft. It’s magnificence it hard to capture with just a picture or just descriptive words. Around every corner is a new jaw dropping view.
The water is wide, deep, and pure. With no rivers flowing into or out of the lake, Crater Lake is largely absent of pollutants causing it to be one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the world. We spotted some trout swimming that must have been about 40 ft down.
The still water was practically begging to be disturbed. Jumping off the rock, it was unclear if we were plunging into water or sky.
I look back through my pictures and it feels like all that beauty may have been a dream. In these rainy Oregon winters, I often think back to those sunny days in Crater Lake park. I am reminded that I am thankful to live in a place where beauty such as this is in my backyard. Crater Lake continues to be an inspiration to all who have stepped out to explore it.