Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our Return Visit to Crater Lake

We visited Crater Lake last year the first week of July.  However, even at that late time of the year, the road around the lake had not fully open, and we only got to see a the views from about 2/3rds of the lake.  Boy, we sure were glad we decided to come back….it brought back the great memories of last year, and we saw some views this year that were outstanding.  Last year we talked about how the lake was formed, and stuff like that…if you are interested in that, click here.

We arrived at the South Entrance, and proceeded along the rim road to the east, which was snowed in last year.  We saw Vidae Falls, which is one of three waterfalls in Crater Lake National Park, and is the most photographed since it is right along Rim Drive.

2b      2c
As you drive along the east rim you get some wonderful views of the valleys below, and the cliffs and mountains that make up the rim of Crater Lake.


One thing about Crater Lake….the lake views are good, but the panoramic views surrounding the crater are good too.  Above looks out over the area to the Southeast of the Lake.

3a       3b

Our first good view of the Lake is at the vista point for the Ghost Ship (upper left).  There are lots of trees here, which make good frames for the shots, but they don’t allow a full picture of the lake.  But there are so many other views which do provide full views, and trees see to add to the mystic of the lake.

3c     3d

Further along the east rim and another vista point captures the last picture of the ghost ship (upper left) and the more of the lake to the right.  Remember, if you click on the pictures, any picture, it will open a larger view of the picture.


This picture was taken at the Pumas Castle Overlook…the “Castel” can be seen to the far right, the shot below will help you identify it.


Remember, I am just the story teller….I did not make up the story.  If they say it is a castle, then it is a castle.


SKRUFFY!  What are you doing up there?  Actually, Skruffy is illustrating the high winds that are at Cloudcap Overlook, which is on the very eastern side of the lake.  They say the winds from the west are nearly constantly blowing, and at times, very hard.  This is also one of the highest overlooks of the lake along Rim Drive…and it makes for a bad hair day for any pup who has such a nice daddy to put then up on a ledge in a blowing wind with all that water out there…


And if you are a Whitebark Pine, you have been put here by a higher force, and it causes you to grow deformed, stunted, and with the knowledge that you are one of only a few trees which can withstand this constant wind.


And as we leave Cloudcap, the panoramic view of the Northeast is stunning.

3j     3k

Above is what is left of Mt. Scott, which is the highest peak in Crater Lake National Park.  At nearly 9,000 feet, it was once dominated by Mt. Mazama which collapsed, allowing for the creation of the lake.  Scott was one of many of the volcanic cones that grew up along Mt. Mazama.  Now Mt. Scott is gradually giving in to the wind, rain, ice and snow, which cause rock slides and general erosion.  To the right is a fire lookout tower, which is at the highest point of the mountain, and can be reached by a long, hard 2 1/2 mile hike.  (again, thank goodness that GoGo Scooter could not reach that!)


There are many an old tree which have given up their leaves, but still stand strong up around Crater Lake.  Marcia loves old trees, and one day soon I will have to make a webpage for her old dead trees, so watch for the Marcia’s Trees tab coming to our blog soon…err…one of these days somewhere down the road….


Here is a good panoramic view of the lake from the North-Northeast side of the lake looking West-Southwest.

3n        3o

Here are two shots which show two very different views of what is nearly the same shoreline in the distance.  This is how much things change just yards or a few tenths of a mile, as this is, along the rim road.  One constantly want to look out at the lake to see what it is doing right now…how are the clouds, the shadows, the effect of the sun on the water, the effect of the wind on the water….it is always constantly changing.


Taken just south of the Northern Junction, this view shows Wizard Island.  They say that on “average” the lake does not have a loss of water from year to year.  Evaporation does take its toll during the summer months, but during the winter it all comes back again.  Last year in early July the land jetting to the right of the Island was not nearly as large as it is now this year.  I am sure that come next spring much of this land jetting out will be covered in water.


Here is a view of….SKRUFFY!  What are you doing, I told you to stay in the car girl!!!  She always loves to get into the shots (although I don’t think she liked that last windy one….)


This is one or our favorite vantage points from last year….looking to the East Northeast, with Wizard Island to our left.  We had lunch here last year a few times, there are Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrels all over the place, and the trees are known to house the Clark's Nutcracker (missed a shot of that) and many Steller's Jay.

4a   4b   4c

As our day was coming to close at Crater Lake, sitting in our favorite spot, we noticed something we both thought was very odd.  Many of the people at this overlook were spending a lot of time taking pictures of these little squirrels instead of the lake.


Ya, I got, not counting this picture above, two squirrel shots, and about 8 bird shots….out of like 150 shots taken during the day.  We saw this one German family drive up, all adults but you could tell they were family, and they spent 90% of their time taking pictures of squirrels during the 30 minutes they were at this overlook.  In the shot above I see four cameras….three aimed at squirrels, one in the arms of a father holding  a child.  Frankly, I just don’t get it….All I do know is that we enjoyed our revisit to Crater Lake, and chances are, it won’t be our last visit.


  1. WOW! ...for sure. Thanks Dave and Scruffy for all the spectacular photos! I'm with you...squirrels? They are cute, but the lake views beyond words!

    1. Yes, and thank goodness there was no Medford yesterday they said that it was one of their first smoke-less skies days in many weeks.

  2. Beautiful! The last time with visited the park we ate dinner at the one of Skruffy's overlooks - best meal with a view ever!

    1. One thing I really like about Crater Lake, besides the vast beauty of it all, is that so much can be seen while sitting in your car...which is nice for Marcia. There is such a calm and peaceful feeling there now, which is vastly different from the days long ago when it was a fiery "H", if you know what I mean.

  3. HEY, how come I am never in these pictures? Why is it that that little "thing" is always in the pictures, but never Bubba????

    1. Now Bubba, I told you to stay off my computer! You are not in these pictures because YOU are a runner...take you off the leash and next thing I know I am chasing you down the street! It was hard enough for Skruffy to not want to chase those ground squirrels, I can't imagine you having the ability to sit there on a ledge with those little squirrels down there chirping at you and you not taking off after them. Now stay off my computer!


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