At the end of July we arrived in Washington state so we made the trip from Florida to the opposite side of the country. It felt like a little achievement.
(Un)fortunately we had spent way more time in Idaho than we had planned so that we had to rush down the West coast faster than we would have liked or than this part of the United states deserved. In Washington State we visited, among other things, the little German town of Leavenworth and Mt Rainier (check out our video) but missed the Puget Sound- Whidbey Island, San Juan Island, the Olympic Peninsula etc.
In Oregon we went to see Mt Rainier, Mt Hood, the Oregon Coastline, went mushroom foraging and more. The last sight we went to see in Oregon was Crater Lake.
We parked our house on wheels on a forest road off of route 138 and stayed 3 nights. After driving a couple hundred miles and setting up we took it easy, discovered the area a bit and had dinner. With our T-mobile mobile internet we had a decent signal and were able to work online.
The next morning we set of to go to the lake. With our National Parks Pass – America the Beautiful – we had quick access but there was not a long line at the gate anyway. The road to get to the lake is quite long but when you drive up to the rim you are in awe with what you see.
The view is spectacular, there is a steep drop and slopes to the lake, the water is very clear and the sky is perfectly mirrored in the lake as there is not a lot of wind at the surface of the lake. Wizard Island is the center of attention. There are plenty of view points where you can park your car and take photographs.
Crater Lake was formed through an eruption and collapse of a volcano (Mt Mazama) and is the deepest lake in the United States at 1949 ft. The lake is 5 by 6 miles across and the rim is 7000 to 8000 feet high.
We wanted to hike the Garfield Peak Trail so we drove to one of the lodges and started our hike. It started of through trees and then got moderately steep and there were a few switch backs. We walked for about 50 minutes but two of our girls started slipping on the gravel and I was uncomfortable taking them further up. Along one side of the trail was a steep drop-off. So we turned around and drove a little more along the rim.
The next day we came back and drove in the opposite direction. We arrived at the trailhead of Cleetwood Cove Trail and parked the car so the kids could run around and have a look. I walked down part of the trail. It was steep and had switch backs pretty much all the way down to the cove. The trail is 2.1 miles long with an elevation change of 610 feet.
There is a boat that will take you to Wizards Island or just around the lake. The lake was stocked with fish until 1941 but fishing is allowed and welcome. Two species remained, Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout.
After that we carried on a little further but it started getting dark so we went back to the camper for dinner.
Crater lake is definitely worth the visit even if you just drive around the rim. I would love to go back one day to hike and maybe swim in the lake.
But for now we are headed to California to see more of this beautiful country.