The deepest lake in the USA, Oregon’s Crater Lake is one of the country’s most unusual and breathtaking natural attractions. This highly visual post features my favorite Crater Lake photos, taken on a recent trip to the eponymous national park.
Crater Lake: Violent Origins, Peaceful Present
Created by the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago, this perfect lake is now the perfect example of a still lake.
When the volcano erupted, it blew ash and debris many miles into the sky while avalanches of pumice covered the surrounding landscape in dozens of feet of ash. It was nothing short of catastrophic. As the mountain spouted out its contents, it could no longer support itself and collapsed under its own weight. This left behind a huge, fuming caldera.
Eventually, rain and snowmelt gradually filled up the gaping caldera, creating what is now known as Crater Lake. Just because there are no springs or rivers feeding the lake, it contains some of the cleanest water on the planet. Visibility is incredible, while its stunning blue water is why the first Euro-American discovers named it “Deep Blue Lake”.
10 Beautiful Crater Lake Photos
To showcase the sheer beauty of Crater Lake National Park, the Crater Lake photos below include scenery from all over the park. Crater Lake itself is, of course, the star attraction, but there are also vast pumice plains, old growth forests and cascading waterfalls.
You can access virtually all major attractions in Crater Lake National Park on the Rim Drive. This superb 33-mile loop drive encircles the crater, making this one of the greatest American parks for cyclists. Check out the Crater Lake photos below to see what you can expect.
A volcano within a volcano, Wizard Island sits in the western part of Crater Lake.
The Crater Lake Lodge is one of America’s most scenic historic accommodations.
To get around the park, the spectacular Rim Drive takes you around the entire lake.
In the east of Crater Lake, you’ll find Phantom Ship, a rock formation resembling a sailboat.
There’s more to Crater Lake National Park than just Crater Lake, as Plaikni Falls beautifully showcase.
One of the most remarkable features in the park: The Pinnacles.
If your goal is to take pretty Crater Lake photos, there’s no better time than sunrise!
Old growth pine forests cover much of Crater Lake National Park.
The forests share the landscape with empty pumice plains, other reminders of Mount Mazama’s eruption.
For glorious Crater Lake landscapes, walk the beautiful Discovery Point Trail in the morning.
Did you enjoy these Crater Lake photos? Tell us in the comments which one is your favorite!