Destination Spotlight: Crater Lake National Park

Everything You Need to Know: Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park was designated a national park in 1902 and became the U.S.’s sixth national park. But, its history is so much older than that. Crater Lake itself was formed from a volcanic eruption over 7,700 years ago.

Today, most visitors come to Crater Lake National Park to learn about its history, enjoy the clear blue waters, and spend time outdoors.

Crater Lake National Park Fun Facts:

  • Crater Lake has two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship
  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S., points of which are nearly 2000 feet deep
  • The lake is freshwater and is refilled each year through snowmelt and rainfall
  • The deep blue color of the lake comes from the purity of the water

What to Do in Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park provides endless stunning views from all around the lake.

Crater Lake National Park is the perfect getaway if you’re looking for a scenic escape with some fun activities.

Stroll Through the Wilderness

Take a break and take in the view during one of the many hikes at Crater Lake.

While Crater Lake is the star of the show at Crater Lake National Park, there are plenty of other wonderful sites to take in during your visit. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to head out into nature.

There are a number of wonderful hikes throughout Crater Lake National Park, but one of the best is the hike to Watchman Peak. This moderate hike is 1.6 miles long and takes approximately 60 minutes. At the top, you’ll find the fire lookout for Wizard Island and get panoramic views. Time it right and you’ll get a seat for the sunset.

Cast a Line

Get a front-row seat, relaxing on the crystal clear water of Crater Lake with a fishing pole in hand.

Another pastime of visitors to Crater Lake is fishing. And, there’s an interesting history to the sport when it comes to Crater Lake. It’s believed that the lake contained no fish until the late 1800s.

At that time, the lake was stocked with six different kinds of fish, two of which continue to survive today. Because the lake has no native fish species, you’re encouraged to fish and don’t need a license.

Take a Scenic Drive

As the name implies, Crater Lake is set deep within a crater, which was created when the volcano exploded many years ago. This also means that you can get a bird’s eye view of Crater Lake from the rim. If you’ve rented a car or brought your own, you can take the scenic Rim Drive. Be sure to take this 33-mile drive clockwise, as some of the roadways are one-way only.


Before you head home, be sure to find some small gifts to take home to your loved ones and to commemorate your visit to Crater Lake. You’ll find plenty of nearby shops to pick up souvenirs or anything else you might need.

  • Rim Village Gift Shop: The perfect place to find collectibles and gifts.
  • Annie Creek Gift Shop: Located just 7 miles from Rim Village, you’ll find souvenirs similar to those at Rim Village Gift Shop.
  • Mazama Village Store: If you find you’ve forgotten to pack something, this is a great place to stop. The store carries groceries, camping supplies, firewood, gas, and much more.

Where to Eat and Drink at Crater Lake National Park

Enjoy a relaxing break from an adventurous day with a drink and an amazing view.

During your visit, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, many of which serve delicious, locally sourced, sustainable food options.

Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room

The best spot in the park to enjoy an amazing meal with an equally amazing view.

At the Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, you’ll find stunning views of the lake and chef-created, delicious food options on a touchless buffet for breakfast and dinner. The dining room is closed during lunch.

Annie Creek Restaurant
The Annie Creek Restaurant has offerings such as pizza, salads, burgers, desserts, and beverages for takeout dining. If you’re looking for a family-friendly meal, this is the place to go.

Rim Village Cafe
The Rim Village Cafe features grab-and-go items that are perfect for visitors who want to get back to the fun and eat good food. You can choose from options such as sandwiches, salads, and lots of snacks.

Where to Stay in Crater Lake National Park

Get the most out of your time at Crater Lake National Park by staying close to the action. That way, you can spend your days having fun instead of commuting back and forth.

Crater Lake Lodge

Start your morning by sitting in front of the fire, sipping on a cup of coffee, and planning out your day at Crater Lake.

A stay at Crater Lake Lodge gets you stunning views of Crater Lake, a cozy guest room, and access to a beautiful hotel from a bygone era.

The Cabins at Mazama Village

The Cabins at Mazama Village are located high in the Ponderosa Pines, near Rim Village. If you book your stay in a cabin, you’ll get your own cabin, two queen beds, peace and serenity, and wonderful views. The cabins were recently renovated with updated decor and furniture.

Crater Lake National Park is home to picturesque beauty and land formation you can’t see in many other places in the world. As the deepest lake in the U.S., this is definitely a place you want to visit so you can check it off of your bucket list.

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