May 2, 2012

Crater Lake in the Snow

Our new tires arrived this morning, and the folks at Henderson’s Line-Up made sure they were installed and inflated correctly for our rig.  Robert checked us out, and we were ready to leave after a much longer-than-intended stay in Grants Pass.  As soon as we were on the road for a bit, we knew that all of the work was worth it.  The ride and handling were much smoother, even over bad roads.  Tim commented that the RV was much easier to drive.  We also have peace of mind not having to worry about the tires.

Our intention today was to make it to Crater Lake National Park and drive over the highest part of the Cascade Range before it started to rain and snow this evening.  We made it with time to spare.

The drive along the Rogue River was simply beautiful.  The river is one of the country’s premier wild and scenic rivers, and we caught views of the river as we drove north.  We soon entered the Rogue River National Forest and drove through stands of towering Douglas firs, ponderosa pines and sugar pines.  As we entered Crater Lake National Park at 4,850 feet in elevation we began to see piles of snow beside the road.

Rogue River
Is That Snow Beside the Road?
Crater Lake National Park is an amazing park.  It’s primarily known for the lake, the deepest and cleanest lake in the United States.  Crater Lake was created when Mount Mazama collapsed after a major eruption 7,700 years ago.  The lake is five miles wide and is encircled by cliffs almost 2,000 feet high.  Old growth forests cover most of the park.

From October to June, Crater Lake National Park is all about snow.  One of the snowiest inhabited places in the country, the park receives an average of forty-four feet of snow. Although the park is always open, the rim road around the lake is not completely plowed until July.  Snow plowing is a never-ending task at the park.  This snowfall, however, is what created Crater Lake in the first place.  The lake is fed only by rain and snowmelt.  No rivers or streams empty into the lake, thus assuring its purity.

Crater Lake with Wizard Island
An Amazing Place
A Beautiful Lake
Tim and I experienced the snowpack today as we headed toward the rim.  We drove alongside walls of snow much higher than the RV and climbed over a snowbank in order to see the lake.  The lake’s intense blue color was not quite as evident today, but the lake was a spectacular sight nonetheless.

It was cold and windy along the rim, and we were grateful that we still had winter hats and gloves with us!  We even took Kitty for a walk in the snow, but she wanted nothing to do with it.  She couldn’t wait to get back inside.

There's an Operating Visitor Center Behind that Snowbank
The Snow Was Higher than the RV
Kitty Didn't Think Much of the Snow
It Was Cold, but Tim and I Had a Great Time


  1. What a beautiful place! Do they allow fishing/boating there? LV

    1. LV, Yes, it is beautiful. Boating is not permitted, except on a boat tour. Fishing is not only allowed, but encouraged, because fish are not native to the lake. However, there is only one trail down to the lake, and it's 1.1 miles long with a drop of 700 feet. That's the access for the boat tour, fishing, swimming, etc. You can also fish from Wizard Island if you take the boat tour which stops there. Sarah

  2. Wow what a beautiful place, what kind of fishi do they catch?

    1. It was interesting for me to find out about fish in Crater Lake. Between 1888 and 1941 six different fish species were introduced to the lake, but only Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon have survived. Sarah

  3. I would love to fish for either one. I love both! Love A

    1. A, I didn't know you enjoyed fishing. That's great. I may not like to fish, but I love to eat fish that others catch, especially trout and salmon! Sarah

  4. Oh yes I do love to fish. It is so relaxing, but when you get a bite. It is do exciting. I love it. It is the whole camping I do not like. Give get a hotel and a shower after the fishing. HA! Love A