Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon managed by the United States National Park Service. It was established in 1902 and is the fifth-oldest national park in the U.S. The lake is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake–which is a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama–and the surrounding hills and forests.

The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m). The United States Geological Survey benchmarked the elevation of the lake surface itself at 6,178 feet (1,883 m). The whole park encompasses around 186.29 sq mi. It has no streams flowing into or out of it, so all water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake’s water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.

This is probably one of my favorite parks in Oregon. We stayed at the Mazama lodge for the day. You can also go camping or stay at the hostel in the park to save money. If you have been traveling for a while there’s a nice restaurant, store, and laundry room in the park. It’s cool to hike around the rim, but be careful especially when hiking in the winter. The boat tour and hike at the wizard island in the middle of the crater is a must for this park. You have to go go all the way down to the pier to do the boat tour, but unfortunately it was destroyed by an avalanche from the previous winter (2016) when we got there.