Winter Wonderland in Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is the remnants of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, one of the chain of volcanoes, including Mount St. Helens. Crater Lake reminds me that you may think something is damaged or broken, but often these are the most beautiful things in life.

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“No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past” (U.S. National Park Service).

 

Crater Lake is the Deepest Lake in the United States. 

Crater Lake National Park is Oregon’s only National Park and was the 5th established National Park in the United States. Crater Lake was formed thousands of years ago after Mount Mazama collapsed, soon after it’s fierce eruption. Crater Lake itself, is the deepest lake in the United States, and the 9th deepest in the world.

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Crater Lake National Parks Gets an Average of 44 Feet of Snow a Year. 

Snow covers Crater Lake National Park 8 months out of the year, with an average of 44 Feet a year. Visiting the national park in the winter is quite the adventure! I was lucky enough to go on a sunny day, with clear roads. My 2013 Honda Civic has been with me many places; she has safety driven through snow, ice, sleet, hail, and sand; she has recovered after being stuck in sand on a beach and in a ditch on a snowy road; she has been my shelter and safety many times. With that being said, I try not to push my limits too much with her, especially with all of the snow that accumulates in Crater Lake. Try to check the weather prior to planning your visit. During the winter and early spring, you are unable to see the lake because of the clouds.

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Entering Crater Lake National Park.

There are only a couple entrances open during the snow covered months in Crater Lake. Make sure to check the National Park Service website prior to venturing out. I drove through the West Entrance, and the roads were surprisingly clear and well plowed, despite the mounds of snow piled up, taller than I, to the sides of the road. However, the road is only plowed to the Rim Village Visitor Center.

Crater Rim. 

Although Rim Drive is closed to cars during most of the winter months, it provides a great opportunity to pull out your snow shoes, skis, snowboards and sleds! For information regarding winter trails and other adventure opportunities, download the Crater Lake National Park Visitor’s Guide from the National Park Service website. Rim Village and West Rim Trail provide very photogenic views of Crater Lake.

If you venture out to Crater Lake, I would recommend going on a week day, when it isn’t too crowded. And don’t forget your camera!

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