A few weeks ago, I headed back on the road for another adventure. With a two night stay ahead, I drove the 3-hours to Crater Lake National Park. Every time I’ve been to Crater Lake, I’m reminded of the majesty and vastness of this place.
With a few days of hiking and discovery, the time and space reminded me of the days gone by. The last time I was at Crater Lake, I was with college friends in the winter, the peaks covered in snow and the blue of the lake took a deep note of sapphire. As a child, we journeyed there on family vacation and my brother and I were less than amused by the curvy roads, simple surroundings, and waterfalls in the heat of summer. It’s funny how as an adult, you come to appreciate the simple pleasures, adventures, and natural beauty.
As I stood on the rim, I thought I knew. I thought I remembered the sights I had taken in as a child and looked upon with wonder. Yet as I gazed into the lake, my heart was rendered speechless. I looked down and knew the water was deep-over 1,000 feet deep, and crystal clear, and the bluest of blue my eyes have ever seen. On that rim, life was really good and my “big” problems, just like me, became incredibly small.
Crater Lake you won my heart yet again. From the simple joys of wildflowers, meadows, and waterfalls to rediscovering the color blue- you delighted and surprised me.
A few hikes to check out while you’re there:
The Pinnacles: Reminding me of Gaudi architecture among the buildings in Barcelona, these rock formations are stunning in the way they tower along the sides of the cliffs and cast shadows in the daylight are incredible. It’s a short and level half-mile loop.
The Cleetwood Trail: Use this trail to access the lake. The hike is strenuous and has a steep grade, so make sure to pack plenty of water.
Mt. Scott: Looking for a summit in the park? Head to this trail for the highest point in the park. Expect this trail to take half the day. Pack food, sunscreen, and plenty of water. In the early spring months, this is a great peak to go snowshoeing on.
After a long day of hiking:
Head to the Historic Lodge and grab a drink and relax along the back porch. With wooden rocking chairs, full bar service, and a panoramic view of the lake, it is the perfect place to await your dinner service. (All dinner service in the lodge requires reservations.) Enjoy dinner in the lodge dining room. With all locally sourced fare, the food is delicious and will surprise you. I had the oregon elk with whipped red potatoes and fresh asparagus. To finish the evening off I had a caramel cheesecake. Everyone in our party ordered separate entrees and desserts and were incredibly pleased. If you’re still up for a late-night adventure, enjoy one of the ranger-led stargazing hikes.
What are some of your favorite places to go exploring? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comment section below.