Crater Lake (it's not actually a crater)July 11 in the United States
Between Bend and Bandon, we stopped for a few hours at Crater Lake. It was awesome, and we both want to go back to do some hiking down into the lake (and on the island). We were fortunate enough to get on a trolley tour around the lake, and we had a Park Ranger along for the ride. She provided us with so much historical and geological information, it was definitely worth the cost of the tour! Crater Lake is actually the caldera of the former Mount Mazama, a giant volcano. The geology of the area shows that there were several points of eruption over time as the tectonic plate was moving over the volcanic hot spot. There is actually a ton of interesting science behind this composite volcano, but as we can’t explain it as well as our guide, we recommend you go hear it in person (or go to NPS.gov for some reading material).
Crater Lake is best explored on foot with multiple hikes, but if you are short on time, this trolley tour is the way to go. We also enjoyed the fact that the ranger was basically an Oregonian version of Rachel’s mom, which was an entertaining bonus.
Moral of the story: Crater Lake National Park was an excellent pit stop!Read more