In Crater Lake National Park

There’s so much stuff to see in the West that it’s not always easy to plan the trip. We’ve debated how to drive in California after doing Death Valley. Ideally we would have driven to Lake Tahoe on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, then down on the Western side to visit the gold rush towns and the National Parks, then up the Pacific highway, through the wine country and in to Crater lake. Because we lost time in Colorado getting the van fixed and because of the wildfires in the wine country (the worse disaster California has ever known), we went up the Western side of the Sierra. Now, after doing Lassen Volcanic National Park, the plan was to go to Redwoods then back in to Crater Lake. But snow is scheduled in two days there, so we change plans and stay in the volcanic country making a big detour to Crater Lake then we’ll go back down to Redwoods!

Enough about trip planning, after driving all morning to Oregon we reach the crater. Mount Mazama erupted 7700 years ago and collapsed, forming a deep basin. Centuries of rain and snow filled it to create the deepest lake in the US (592m, 7th deepest in the world). The lake doesn’t fill anymore as the water goes through the porous rock of the rim. When the eruption happened it was 100 bigger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens, covering what is now 8 states and 3 Canadian provinces. The volcano, part of the “Ring of fire”, is dormant.