Crater Lake was formed nearly 8000 years ago when the eruption of Mount Mazama left a giant crater that was subsequently filled in with rain and snow. The lake is the deepest in the U.S., at 1949 feet, and one of the deepest lakes in the world. In 1902 Crater Lake National Park was established to protect the lake and surrounding environment.
Immediately upon arriving at the crater rim I was amazed at the size of the lake, and enchanted by its deep blue color. As is often the case with national parks, pictures simply don’t do the crater justice. The highlight of my trip was the hike up Mount Scott, the highest mountain in the park. While the hike is usually short (~5 miles round trip from the parking lot, 1200′ of elevation gain), 45′ of snow from the winter had kept a portion of the east rim road closed as of mid-July, so parking was a 2.5 mile hike from the trail head. This ended up keeping crowds down considerably. The camping in the park was all accounted for ahead of time, so I camped at a quiet spot several hours to the north.