An impossibly large and beautiful circle of pure, intense blue, surrounded by cliffs almost 2,000 feet high, Crater Lake is always stunning at first sight. Its establishment as one of earliest national parks as well as its mountain location has preserved the pristine quality of the air and water in Crater Lake National Park. The park is a perfect mid-summer destination. While most of the U.S. can be uncomfortably hot, Crater Lake National Park’s northwest location and high elevation ensures pleasant conditions in the middle of the summer. While the lake surrounded by snow can be striking, the abundant snowpack closes the road around the lake for most of the year, so this is another reason to visit in the summer.
The park is relatively uncrowded even at the height of the tourist season, with less than 500,000 visits per year. Although its main attraction is undoubtedly the lake, with its varying moods, the area has much more to offer to the photographer looking for off-the-beaten-path locations, including mountain vistas, wildflower meadows and curious geological formations.
The park can be accessed through three entrances to the north, west and south, all leading to a 33-mile scenic road that circles the lake, offering a number of overlook views. Trails give access to more varied viewpoints, high above the lake and at ...