August 3, 2015 by Deborah W. Trotter
Most National Parks are about more than one feature, and it takes some time and effort to get a real sense of what’s there. Not true of Crater Lake. About 25 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail is within the Park’s boundaries, and there are a few other hiking trails as well. But the main attraction, Crater Lake itself, is encircled by the Park road, and at many points along it, you can step out of your vehicle, breathe in the clear mountain air, and marvel at the incomparably blue water that stretches before you.
The creatures we saw at one of the overlooks were oblivious of their spectacular neighborhood, much more interested in begging human food from people who don’t understand that not indulging these little guys is better for their health and survival.
If you want to stay in the neighborhood, Crater Lake Lodge sits above the south side of the lake. Landing a room reservation is a challenge, but even if you don’t get to spend the night there, you can sit in a wood and rattan rocking chair on the deck in back and gaze and breathe, and breathe and gaze, and even have food and drink brought to you from the dining room if you desire.
On a day with clouds, the view changes constantly, and a short walk down a paved trail from the Lodge gives you yet another perspective.
While I prefer to spend at least one night in any National Park we visit, even a short time at Crater Lake can revive your spirit. If you’re heading north or south through Oregon on I-5, I recommend a few hours’ detour to Crater Lake National Park. You won’t be disappointed!