If you are looking for a weekend adventure from northern California or even the Washington area, a visit to Crater Lake National Park may be just the ticket for you. Located about eighty miles north of the California-Oregon border, it is easily accessible from either California or Washington. If one is vacationing in the region from the east, it could even be included as part of a longer track, say a drive down the Pacific coast from Washington to California. Since Crater Lake National Park is in close proximity to Interstate 5, it could be a stop off for the drive up to Washington where the coast drive should begin.
If you are traveling from California, Medford or Klamath Falls would be a good place to stop for the night prior to going up to visit Crater Lake National Park. Medford, Oregon is located right on Interstate 5 and Klamath Falls, Oregon is located on U.S. Highway 97. Find a hotel, have a nice dinner, and you are all set for a morning jaunt up to Crater Lake. In the summer, from either location, it will take about a couple of hours to make the drive up to Crater Lake from the valley below. As Crater Lake averages in excess of five hundred inches of snow per year, it may be a little more difficult in the winter. With eight to twelve foot snow banks on either side of the road, it would be wise to call ahead to verify if the road up to the lake is open.
Once you arrive in the confines of Crater Lake National Park, you will be amazed by the sheer beauty of the deep blue water of the lake. The deep blue water is indicative of the fact that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country. The backdrop of the snow-covered mountain peaks against the deep blue water of the lake makes for one of the most picturesque views one can fathom. There is a park road that goes all the way around the lake, so you are sure to get your fill of pictures from every vantage point available.
In your visit to Crater Lake, as you leave the Park Headquarters on the park road to begin your drive around the lake, you will come across Wizard Island first. Wizard Island is actually a volcano spout and, since Crater Lake is a caldera, this represents a volcano inside of a volcano. As you drive around the park road during your visit to Crater Lake, you will be witness to several informational stopping points giving historical data on the lake. Toward the end of your drive on the park road you will come across the mysterious Phantom Ship.
After you have completed your lap around the lake, you should have a plethora of pictures from your visit to Crater Lake to share with all of your family and friends for years to come. One or two may even get framed and wind up in your office.