There are just not words to adequately describe the beauty of Crater Lake; it must be one of the most beautiful places on earth! The water is the bluest blue you ever did see. That moment when I looked over the rim trail and saw it for the first time is something I will never forget. It literally takes your breath away, and these pictures definitely do not do it justice!
The rim trail is really fun to stroll along and see the lake from many different angles. After we had our fill of seeing the lake from the rim, we headed out for a hike up the Garfield Peak trail. The trail is 3.4 miles roundtrip, but most of it was still closed due to snow so we were only able to hike about a mile up and back. The views along the hike were stunning!
The trail to one of the viewpoints looks to have been recently cleared of snow. The snowbanks were so high here and in the parking lot. It’s incredible how much snow falls at Crater Lake every year. We were there in July and some of the roads and trails were still closed! Also, it was surprisingly warm in spite of the snow. It might look funny to see us in shorts with all that snow surrounding us, but it wasn’t cold outside at all.
After we hiked and walked around the viewpoints we attempted to go to another area of the park to do another hike, but the traffic and crowds were crazy by this point. We decided to head back to the campground and come back another day.
We came back in the evening later that week and it was not crowded at all. The first thing we did was stop at the Visitor Center to watch the park movie and let the kids earn their Junior Ranger badges.
The most popular hike at Crater Lake is the Cleetwood Cove Trail which is the only trail where you can hike down to the lake. It is 2.2 miles roundtrip and includes a strenuous climb back up.
It was really fun to go down to the lake! We learned in the park movie that the water is some of the purest water, so of course we had to try it.
On our way back out of the park we stopped and played in some of the mounds of snow. I still can’t believe how much snow there was in July. I can’t even imagine what it looks like in the winter.
Crater Lake is so incredible! I really hope I inspired you to go see it, because like I said at the beginning of this post, my pictures do not do it justice. You just have to see it in person.