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Oregon Trip

Day 2 of 8

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Saturday, July 16th
Drive to Crater Lake, Rim drive

After sleeping in and having a leisurely breakfast, we let our motel around noon. We could see Mt. Shasta itself looming large from our motel window, and had some nice views on the drive as well. We soon left Interstate 5, heading onto Highway 97, entering Oregon and skirting Upper Klamath Lake.

View of Mount Shasta from the motel

Mount Shasta from a lookout

When we arrived at the park entrance I realized I'd forgotten to bring my annual park pass. Could have saved myself $15. We drove up the park road and were met with a traffic jam at the Rim Village. We inched our way past all the day users and parked near the lodge. It was just past 2:30pm, and check-in wasn't until 4pm. So we walked over to the village to get something to eat. Unfortunately the line was long here and the food choices weren't very good. We wouldn't return here the rest of our trip. In general the food options in the park are limited.

First view of Crater Lake, from the lodge

We walked back to the lodge and checked into our room. I'd forgotten to make advance dinner reservations, so we made them for 9pm tonight (and earlier for subsequent nights). Then we went back out and drove all the way around the lake. It's about an hour's drive on the scenic Rim Drive, but we took about 2 hours as we kept stopping to get out, look around, and take pictures.

In particular, after enjoying the views from the back of the lodge (where two rows of chairs sit facing the lake), we stopped near Discovery Point. Continuing clockwise (recommended since most of the stops are on the lake side), we stopped at Watchman Overlook. This is the closest point to Wizard Island, which sits near the western shore of the lake. A short hike nearby goes up to Watchman Peak (about 420 feet up), but as it was already past 5pm we skipped the peak. The views from the viewing area were nice enough (though we may return to hike to the peak some other time). We saw several people with selfie sticks at the overlooks, but at least no one playing Pokemon Go, as there was no cell service.

Wizard Island in Crater Lake

Wizard Island in Crater Lake

Wizard Island in Crater Lake

Wizard Island from Watchman Overlook

Crater Lake from Watchman Overlook

Crater Lake from Watchman Overlook
(Click image to view full size)

Wizard Island from Watchman Overlook

After passing through a construction area (one section was a single lane for both directions, gated by stoplights on either side), we passed the North Entrance Road, then the Cleetwood Cove trailhead. We stopped at some unnamed overlook on the northeastern side instead. We were now looking across the lake directly into the sun; this would probably be a nicer spot to be in the morning.

Crater Lake

View to the northwest from near North Junction

Northeast part of Crater Lake

Looking into the afternoon sun over Crater Lake

We next stopped at Cloudcap Overlook, but again the sun made for difficult viewing. We stopped at the Phantom Ship Overlook. From here we could glimpse the rock formation in the water through the trees. It's supposed to look like a ship, though it wasn't all that exciting to me. We skipped the rest of the stops, returning to the lodge around 7pm.

Grotto Cove from Cloudcap Overlook

Looking toward Phantom Ship from Cloudcap Overlook

Phantom Ship from Phantom Ship Overlook

Phantom Ship from Phantom Ship Overlook

The rooms at the lodge are small, and the food could be better (especially considering the prices they charge). But the common areas by the fireplace are nice, it's a nice atmosphere, and nothing beats being able to walk out the door at any time and take a look at the lake. I ventured outside after dinner for some night time pictures. Unfortunately the moon was not out yet, and when it was out earlier the following nights there were clouds.

Night sky over Crater Lake

Big Dipper over Crater Lake Lodge


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