The Pacific Northwest has a wealth of incredible scenic sites. From north to south and east to west, it really is not that hard to find an incredibly beautiful place to visit or experience. One of the top ones to see first hand, and one that is entirely unique, is Crater Lake in southern Oregon.
Crater Lake is basically a water filled dorman volcanic crater at the top of a mountain. This doesn’t explain the beauty that you will find there though. As road trippers, we get used to driving through the mountains here in the Pacific Northwest. But here, as you ascend up the side of the mountain, you have something waiting for you that you don’t usually encounter at the top. A full alpine lake just waiting to be enjoyed.
I have two favorite parts about Crater Lake. First, the historic lodge that sits on the rim and overlooks this natural beauty. There is a beauty in some of these older forest service buildings that still stand in our region. I like having the opportunity to enjoy a meal there while looking at the history represented not only by the building itself, but also the photographs on the walls. Once outside, there are some viewing areas and picnic tables that allow you to enjoy the scenery, but I always take some time to enjoy the inside of the historic lodge first.
The other thing I truly enjoy at Crater Lake is called Rim Drive. This is the name of the road that winds completely around the lake at the top of the mountain. This road gets a lot of snow, naturally, so it is closed during the winter and quite late into the spring. My recommendation is that if this sounds like something you want to do, call ahead and find out if that road is open. There are several great vantage points along this road to get out, stretch your legs, and take pictures from. Rim Drive is a true treat that should be experienced at least once.
One thing that I’ve never done, but should, when at Crater Lake is get down and take a cruise on the water from the tour boat that operates there. How cool would that be?
Anyway, I cannot recommend Crater Lake more highly as a place to go when going on a road trip through southern Oregon. You are sure to want to go back again and again.