Today we were up early. We showered, dressed, ate breakfast, packed a lunch and headed out the door by a little after 9:00.
The trip today was to…
Now, several have told us this time of the year you have to beware of the weather at Crater Lake. But, we decided to tackle it anyway. Well, today, I am so thankful we made this amazing trip, and as far as the weather, WOW, we couldn’t have ask for any better.
Come along as we journey
up Hwy 62 to Crater Lake.
Our first stop came
not long after we crossed the Rogue River. It was at this little turnout
where basically I had just ask for a bathroom stop. We decided while we were here we would take the short walk across
the bridge and around the trail. At the top of the the trail was
this beautiful water fall. The Rogue Gorge forms a chasm 500 feet long. It then
narrows to 25 feet before dropping
45 feet to the river below.
I am glad I needed the stop!
Now, we are on to
the park. First we found
the visitor center. We watched a short movie and I got my official cancellation stamp and sticker. The ranger told us all roads were open around the rim drive. He advised us to take the trip in a clockwise direction so all the pull offs would be on the right side of the road. So with map in hand we were off.
I was just in awe from this point on. As we turned on the road to take us to the Rim Drive we encountered
yes, that is snow, and it is October 1! There is already and accumulation of a little less than 1 inch. What a beautiful sight. We continued to drive on the observation area/gift shop to get our first glimpse
of the lake. Here is a picture of
As we continued our drive around the lake every turnout seemed
better than the last. At one place we had to
walk on the snow covered trail and past
this beautiful field of trees to get
this shot of the lake far below where we were standing.
Next stop was
lunch. I can’t imagine any better spot than this for our picnic!
From this stop on the West Rim we drove on to the East Rim to
Cloudcap Overlook which is the highest point on the Rim Drive at 1,790 feet above the water. Here the
White bark pines fight for survival and are dwarfed and contorted by the harsh constant winds.
It was only here that
we saw this little chipmunk enjoying the warm sun.
Next stop was
Pumice Castle Overlook. This is the park’s most colorful and fanciful feature. The layer of orange pumice rock has been eroded into the shape of a medieval castle.
My favorite stop was
Phantom Ship Overlook. Nestled against the southeastern shore is this rock formation that closely resembles a small pirate ship. The island is as tall as a 16 story building. It is made of erosion-resistant rock and is 400,000 years old and is the oldest exposed rock within the caldera.
We continued on towards the end of Rim Drive still enjoying the
rocks and the trees covered in snow. We are so glad that we took the time to stop and enjoy yet another one
of our National Parks.