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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake sits like an egg cup of blue ink.  

Not a crater at all.

A caldera

Created when Mount Mazama dropped in to a hollow interior.

Vacated by a blast of hot ash around 7,700 years ago.

With the rim still over 2000m a lot of mountain remains and a lot of park to explore.

Evening Crater Lake

Evening with smoke from forest fire drifting over Crater Lake

There’s a short summer season when it’s all open to hike. Even in early August snow patches loitered in shady coves.

Many just drive to the visitors’ centres or drive the  33 miles perimeter for ‘selfies’ on the ‘must see’ views.  So there’s plenty of opportunity to escape the crowds.

Crater Lake from Garfield Pike

Crater Lake from Garfield Pike

Mount Garfield is the highest point on the rim.  For a quick escape the top, 2455 m can be reached in an hour or so with the reward of an uninterrupted view of the whole caldera.

Wizard Island Crater Lake

Wizard Island

A couple of islands punctuate the blue.

The Phantom Ship Crater Lake

The Phantom Ship

Wizard Island’s hat pushed up by more recent volcanic activity.  Burnt black boulders tumble into the water.  Green pines cling on precariously, sustained by seemingly nothing.

Crater Lake colours

Colourful sides of the Caldera

Across the crater floats the ‘Phantom Ship’.  A ridge back of rock link to the side by an underwater trail.

Lichens flourishing in pure mountain air paint the caldera sides  sun bright  yellow.  Snow melt tumbles through summer warmth sustaining stripes of vivid green and alpine flowers.

Crater Lake from Mount Scott

From Mount Scott

For a full circle view it’s worth a walk to the top of Mount Scott, the highest point of the park at 2721m.

Mount Scott

Mount Scott

Down to the lake itself to feel the true scale of lake and height of the crater.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Unfortunately a forest fire was raging while we were there and the west rim was closed.  Though dramatic to watch the planes dropping water horrific to think of the destruction caused by the carelessness of a backpacker.

Pumice Castle Crater Lake Caldera

Pumice Castle

Interestingly a park ranger told us any fires caused naturally by lightning strikes are left as its good for the eco system.   Though our hotel was threatened with evacuation just before we checked out, it didn’t detract from the wonder of the park. So far the lodge is still there.

Crater Lake Lodge

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