About 7,700 years ago, a destructive volcano explosion collapsed Mount Mazama and formed a caldera that we today know as Crater Lake. This blue body of water is surrounded by spectacular viewpoints and trailheads that offer a panorama view of the lake.
Thousands of visitors make a trip to this scenic beauty every year to admire the phenomenal sights and natural construction of islands and waterfalls after the volcano burst. It is a perfect spot for anyone seeking outdoor adventures or contemplative solitude amid nature.
Let us walk you through some of the unforgettable spots around Crater Lake from where you can enjoy the views.
Garfield peak is for adventure seekers who like to see the world from the top. This mountain is situated near the south end of Crake Late National Park, and from its peak, you can get the most beautiful view of Crater Lake from a height. The highest point of Garfield peak is 7,976 feet above sea level, where one can enjoy the view with the hymns of juncos.
The Garfield Peak trail is a 5.5-kilometer hiking route. Along the way, most of the northern ridges give the chance of sighting the exquisite Crater Lake and its two islands.
Cleetwood Cove Trail
Crater Lake’s crystal clear blue water is alluring. Many viewpoints around the Rim Drive allow people to enjoy this magical spectacle from afar. However, some souls are only satisfied when they see the lake from up close.
Cleetwood Cove Trail is the stairway to this heaven. This descent is properly maintained and serves as the only legal access to the lake, where you can go swimming, boating, fishing, etc.
Waterfalls are generally always associated with happy memories. Something about them is extremely magical. However, Plaikni Falls is on the next level because this gushing body of water is surrounded by wildflowers that enhance the magic of this place.
A trip to Plaikni Fall is perfect with family as it involves hiking through a gorgeous trail that leads up to the falls. It is also a perfect spot to take photographs.
Mount Mazama is a complex volcano mountain and enjoys documented importance as it has a history of collapsing 7,700 ago. Its collapse generated a spectacular caldera that holds the scenic Crater Lake.
If you visit Mount Mazama, you will feel the air of its dangerous past. But, it is also known that this mountain is home to a diverse habitat. So, it is a perfect trip for those who seek thrill in an adventure.
Wizard Island is a 763-foot cinder cone that came into being when Crater Lake started to load with water after the collapse of Mount Mazama. The only way to reach the island is via Crater Lake Boat Tour, and you can decide to stay for a few moments or a whole day.
Moreover, it includes a trail that begins from the minute you step your foot on the island, and if you manage to reach the top of it, you will be bestowed with a breathtaking view of the lake. Even if you don’t reach the top, you will still be able to explore the old lava rocks on the island.
If you are interested in an easy adventure that does not take up too much of your muscle power or time, then Vidae Falls may just be the one for you.
It is located by Rim Drive and does not require difficult hikes to reach. It is a dazzling spot for photography, picnic, and sightseeing. Definitely not a bad spot for a quick stop.
Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site
J. F. Kimball State Recreation Site is located at the headwaters of the Wood River in the middle of tall pine trees. The gorgeous stream glides through the pine forest into the open meadows surrounded by the Cascade Mountains.
Tents and picnic tables are available to relish the sensational view with some food and good company. However, if you crave solitude, all it takes is a few minutes’ hike on a walking trail to the park site, which is quiet and serene, perfect for some contemplative time.
Discovery Point Trail
If you are a fan of sunsets, this is a must-go-to place. This trail is near the west end of Rim Drive, and hiking on it is fun because of the stunning views on both sides. But the most interesting part is the end of this trail that leads to Discovery Point, where a hold prospector spotted Crate Lake in 1853.
The trail’s highest point is 100 ft. above the lake. From the discovery point, you can catch a glimpse of the blue lagoon, the rim, the wizard island, and if you time your trip properly, a beautiful sunset as well. Moreover, golden-mantled ground squirrels are also seen sprinting on the trail.
National Creek Falls Trail
National Creek Falls trail is a perfect day hike to go on with friend groups or family. The trail goes through a conifer forest and leads to the National Creek Falls. This fall is one of the most photogenic spots in Oregon due to its lush, green mosses and viscous flow.
The wonderful thing about this waterfall is that it runs consistently throughout the year, so any time is the best time to visit.
The Watchman Observation Station
To reach the Watchman Observation Station, you need to take one of the most famous trails in the park, the Watchman Trail. It starts from the mountain and switches to an ancient fire lookout near the peak.
Watchman Observation Station is situated 3.7 miles northwest of Rim Drive. It is located in the middle of Discovery Point and Merriam Point and provides a stunning lake view.
So, don’t just keep waiting! Instead, plan out your next weekend with friends and family and visit some of these spectacular viewpoints that overlook the breathtaking body of Crater Lake right here in Oregon.