Saturday, September 13, 2014

9-12-2014 Crater Lake National Park

We got up early and headed out for a full day exploring Crater Lake.  We had our tickets for a 2:30 pm boat tour, so we had several hours to get halfway around the lake.  We made it there in time, loved the hike down, and had a wonderful time on the boat.  The hike back up was nice too!  We pulled off at most overlooks, and were able to drive the full loop around the lake.  We had a blast!

This was our lovely campsite at Mazama Campground inside Crater Lake National Park. There were no on-site hookups, but
we were set up for dry camping.

This is the one place in the campground we found decent signal, so here is where Eric sat to check in on things.

The day started off hazy (or rather, smoky as we later learned).

A view from a trail at Rim Village

Cara at Crater Lake

Our first view of Wizard Island, the volcano inside a volcano

These beautiful aqua water we saw up close later on our boat ride

View from Rim Village

Another view from Rim Village

Crater Lake Lodge and some Whitebark Pine trees

We did a couple short hikes up the trail on the west rim for different views.

Our RV parked at one of the overlooks on the west rim

This talks about the two fires that were burning near Crater Lake.  The Caldera Wildland Fire (1/2 acre, near the rim) was ignited by lightning on August 13, 2014, and that's probably the one that was causing all the smoke over the lake.  The Founders Day Wildland Fire (we did see this one in the distance north of Crater Lake) was also ignited by lightning in mid-August, 2014, and it is consuming 21 acres.

Eric on the 1.1 mile hike down to the boat launch on the Cleetwood Cove Trail.  It's 700 feet
of elevation change from the top to the bottom.

This is where you board the tour boats

People enjoyed soaking their feet in the cold water after the hike down from the rim

The water was super clear and beautiful

It may look like an outhouse, but it's some sort of utility building

The view from the other side of the boat launch area

The day warmed up nicely and the skies turned beautiful

After our tour guide told us our side of the boat was the "spray side" most people moved over, but we stuck it out, and it
wasn't bad.  The day really warmed up, and Cara appreciated the spray about halfway through the trip.

This feature is known as the "Devils Backbone"

The water was amazingly blue when you got out there in the boat

Here we're approaching the section where the waters appear aqua colored

Some blue, some aqua

More aqua

Beautiful bright aqua

This feature is known as the "Phantom Pirate Ship" because of its silhouette

Leaving the "Phantom Pirate Ship" in shadow

The colors in the rocks were gorgeous

Approaching "Pumice Castle" - that's the more brown colored spot

A better view of "Pumice Castle"

"Palisade Point"

Looking west at nearly 5 pm, while hiking back up from the boat tour

The smokiness cleared up nicely throughout the day

Late day at Crater Lake

Dramatic late day sun over Crater Lake

This was our last stop on the loop around the lake

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