We have seen more than a few lakes through our travels but nothing quite like the one in Crater Lake National Park. This place is magical! It is located in south-central Oregon in the western United States. It is the deepest lake in the continental USA with a depth of 1,949 feet (594 meters) as well as the cleanest. The water has this deep blue color and anywhere you go around it the views are absolutely breathtaking!
The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot (655 m)-deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years.
Inside of the crater resides the so-called Wizard island which in combination with the surrounding lake and crater has made this such a beautiful attraction. Nature is amazing!
The Wizard Island is nicely exposed in the initial few stops and gets further away as you continue on the road. Viewpoints are nicely maintained and have enough space for more than a few cars to stop at a time. Take your time and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Park is very well maintained and absolutely worth the entry fee (which lasts for an entire week). The road goes around the entire crater and provides amazing views of almost every angle you can imagine. It is quite windy during our trip there (middle of October) so have that in mind. At some of the stops (Watchmen Overlook especially), there was no way to safely take a picture due to the strong winds.
There are quite a few viewpoints around the crater but some are really special. The Watchman for example we will remember due to the extreme winds that we faced. It was impossible to take a photo at all so we came back again the next day. Other viewpoints require some creative thinking for great pictures.
It was worth it, the view is really something else since you are face to face with the Wizard Island. Hillman Peak and Discovery points are also great with similar views. If you have time and end up going all the way around the lake check out the Phantom Ship Overlook. We could not just get a good quality picture while there for some reason.
Note that the park is not open the entire year and lodging inside the park is seasonal. During the winter the park is closed due to the harsh weather and road conditions. There is only one hotel on the premises and it is usually booked years ahead so finding logging inside the park is difficult. We stayed outside the park (about 20 mins drive) and really enjoyed it. We booked via AirBnB.