Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake, Oregon's Unique Blue Gem

This was our second visit to Crater Lake National Park. It still made a great impression! Crater Lake is nature’s unique gem with an intense blue color like blue sapphire stone and an almost perfect circle! Not “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” but this mesmerizing lake is.

Snow arrived early this year, and walking the trails without the proper gear was impossible, so we only walked a short stretch along the rim. The 33-mile Rim Drive was already closed for the season; we learned the road is open from late June to mid-October, depending on snowmelt. Let’s hope three times is a charm when we  revisit this fascinating park a third time!

The Lake's History Is Fascinating!

Crater Lake is a relatively young lake formed after a violent volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama. In a geological timeline of 400.000 years, Mount Mazama grew to 12.000 feet and must have been one of the most giant peaks in the Cascades. 7.700 years ago, the mountain started to erupt. New vents encircling the peak were created to release the built-up gas, pumice, and lava from the magma chamber, and as a consequence, the peak was weakened. When the pressure of the magma chamber decreased, the mountain could not hold its weight, collapsed, and sank into the empty chamber, forming a deep caldera. The mountain that had grown for centuries collapsed into the crater in just a few hours.

Centuries of pure, clean rainwater and snow filled the caldera and transformed it into today’s majestic scene as the deepest lake in the United States. It is still being determined whether this scene will last forever. Mount Mazama is still an active volcano that might violently change the landscape again!

Witnesses Of The Eruption

An Indian tribe, the Klamath, witnessed the eruption 7.700 ago. I love their beautiful story to describe nature’s violence. For them, it was a fight between the spirits Skell and Llao. Skell, the good Spirit of Above, won the battle. He collapsed the mountain to close the portal to prevent Llao, the evil Spirit of Below, from entering the upper world. Then, he filled the lake with water to cover Llao’s limbs and head as a sign of everlasting peace. Skell’s plan to eliminate Llao did not succeed; Llao’s loyal water animals refused to devour their master’s head. It is known as Wizard Island, and the Native Americans believe Llao’s spirit is still active there. Crater Lake was and remains a sacred place for many Native American tribes to perform their tribal practices.

Date

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Distances

1.11 miles

Moving Time

0:32:54 hours

WEATHER

59 °F, calm, sun and clouds