Mazama Caldera, aka Crater Lake

We recently visited Crater Lake National Park with good friends and one of the things I learned (and should have known) is that we’ve been using the wrong geological name all this time … it’s not a crater, it’s a caldera. (or at least that’s what the Park Ranger told us). Over 7000 years ago, Mount Mazama changed dramatically. – note: there are links to slide shows on different topics – poke around.

This adventure was different from 2 years ago due to an absence of fires and this year taking a boat ride around the lake and spending several hours on Wizard Island. One thing that hit me like a ton of bricks is the magnitude of it all (the lake is 5×6 miles) – staying up on the crater rim just does not have same impact – if you go, take a boat ride!

The lake

The water is amazingly clear … drinkable too (we all had some from the middle of lake – ranger filled everybody’s water bottle). If you doubt me, this pic is in 40 feet of water – let that sink in.

Here is a slide show with standard resolution pics of more Crater Lake water

After the water, the geology of the caldera is beyond amazing.

Here is a slide show with standard resolution pics of more some geological features.

Two of the most popular geological features are Wizard Island and the Phontom Ship; and the above pic shows the ship in forground and the island in background.

The ship

The island

While on the island, we hiked to the top – which IS a crater. Some of us hiked down into the core of the island crater – an odd feeling. A quick swim was also in order but the water was COLD! All the pics in this movie are from the island.

If you’ve read any of my adventure posts here, plants and their beauty and perservance are always interesting … Crater Lake has its share of fabulous creatures.

Another set of plant pics from the lake, the island and all around

The park is one of those amazing places on this wonderful planet … good planets are hard to find!

2 Comments to “Mazama Caldera, aka Crater Lake”

  1. sallly fuller

    Michael, Some surprises for me—the tiny flowers and trees here and there. Were these on the island? Hope Dad and I make it back there on a day when it isn’t snowing! Any areas near-by that have the same features?

    1. michael Author

      Some of the flowers (purple ones) were from Wizard Island. The others were from a creek waterfall just below the rim. Crater Lake is definitely unique as far as I am concerned … there are just few places at that altitude in OR with that much water … the lake loses over 100m gallons of water an hour, but the water level has not varied more than 3 meters in like 75 years. That means that there is a big glob of water that just keeps flowing in … oh, and btw, the ranger stated that they have yet to figure out where the water goes; they only could figure how how much seeps out with a covering of ice. What a wonderful world … 🙂


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