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Apr 26

Top 10 Things to see or Do in Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is known for its rugged spectacular views and intense blue color of its famous lake.  A trip here takes real dedication.  It is kind of far from anywhere, which adds to its appeal.  Located in the south central part of Oregon.  It is the states only National Park and it is a good one.  A single attraction that has created an amazing destination of scenic wonderment.  Below is our list of the Top 10 Things to see or do in Crater Lake National Park.  Like all such lists it is formed based on our opinions and is meant to inspire.  After seeing our list, we hope it will motivate you to seek beauty in our natural world.  Happy Travels!  

Top 10 Things to see or do in Crater Lake National Park

10. See the Waterfalls

untitledVidae and Plaikni Falls are nice waterfalls located in Crater Lake National Park.  If you are from the Plains like we are then these seasonal waterfalls, if flowing, will be a real treat.  If you are from the Pacific NW then enjoy your typical run-of the-mill waterfalls. I hope you enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

9. Boat Tour

Crater Lake Boat Tour Dock
Most visitors see the Crater Lake from the top down.  Make sure you get to see what the view is from the lake up.  If you take the Wizard Island Boat Tour you can hike to the summit of the volcanic cinder cone right in the middle of Crater Lake. To get to the boat you will have to take number 7 on our list Cleetwood Cove Trail.   

8. Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site

Kayaking - Wood River HeadwatersTechnically outside Crater Lake National Park boundaries.  The Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site is a great stop coming from or going to Crater Lake National Park.  A beautiful turquoise water at the start of the wood river is a sight to see. 

7. Cleetwood Cove Trail for a Cold Dip

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Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only trail that leads to the shoreline. A steep 2.2-mile roundtrip hike with 700-foot of elevation loss.  The water is freezing cold so caution is a word to the wise.  However, if you are truly brave enough or crazy enough, a splash in the deep blue water will be like nothing you have ever been in before. 

6. Visit the Visitor Centers

Crater LakeScenic views check, waterfall viewing check, enjoying a lovely hike check, but the backstory of the park not checked.   Come on now!?!?  A little history of the place never hurt anybody so bone up on some knowledge about the grand scenery your checking out, talk to a park ranger, sign up for a tour at the two visitor centers in Crater Lake National Park.   

5. Garfield Peak

Garfield Peak
One of the more popular hikes in the park and for good reason.  Conveniently located to the Rim Village.  Offers panoramic views of the area including some of the best views of Wizard Island and the Phantom Ship. 

4. Highway of Waterfalls

Toketee FallsNearly two dozen waterfalls can be found on Highway 138 to Crater Lake National Park.  Toketee, Fall Creek, Clearwater, Watson, Wolf Creek waterfalls to name a few. There are some beautiful waterfalls in this area.  Highway 138 is a great way to spend some time coming to or going from Crater Lake National Park. 

3. Stay at Crater Lake Lodge

Rocking Chairs, Crater Lake Lodge
Historic building with built in character.  Crater Lake Lodge just turned 100 years old and it is one of the architectural icons in the National Park system.  Nestled along the rim and surrounded by the peaks of the Southern Oregon Cascades.  Staying in one of America’s national parks does not get much better than this.   

2. Rim Drive

jn9800.JPGOf course the main star of Crater Lake National Park is Crater Lake.  Nothing short of plane trip will give you a better all-around view of the lake than the Rim Drive.  Lots of pullouts scenic views everywhere this is how most visitors will see the park and you should to. 

1. Mount Scott Trail for Sunrise or Sunset

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The Mount Scott Trail is arguably the best hike in the park. It climbs 2.5 miles to the park’s highest point and offers sweeping views of the lake and wilderness below.  An added bonus is doing the hike during sunrise or sunset for the feeling of seeing the day end or begin from the top of the world 

 To see our top 10 lists of America’s National Parks, click here

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 10 things to see or do in Crater Lake National Park.  Let us know what you think of our list, is there anything that you can think we left off.  Please sound off.   Let us know if you like the list or disagree with our top 10.  Looking for other vacation ideas check our other top 10 lists.  As always we wish you happy travels!

For more information about Crater Lake National Park visit their website at https://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm

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