Crater Lake was formed as result of the collapse of the volcano, Mount Mazama many, many years ago. Mount Mazama belongs to the Cascade range and was built over a long period of almost 400, 000 years. The caldera that Crater Lake is composed of, is supposed to have been created almost 6,000 or 8,000 years ago.
I had the distinct pleasure of both flying this route as well as driving it from Northern California. Believe me, each experience has it’s own advantage. For example, seeing Crater Lake from the air provides the most stunning views of the bluest of blue waters. On the other hand, driving up to Crater National Park and trekking down the slope of the Mount Mazama to the water’s edge provides views of deep, blue , clear water, and sheer cliffs surrounding the lake of such immeasurable beauty, it is hard to make a choice.
One summer, my family and I made the fun road trip up north: getting some history visiting the state capital in Sacramento, California, driving further north past Mount Shasta and the turquoise blue waters of Lake Shasta up to Medford, Oregon. The next day, we drove up to the Crater Lake National Park. Seeing Crater Lake at eye level affords some of the most, breathtaking views of the pristine, blue lake.
After a strenuous 1.1 mile hike down the Cleetwood Trail, you can take a two hour boat ride, getting a fantastic perspective on the history of the crater with a park ranger. By virtue of once being an active volcano, the boat ride is aboard a kerosene operated boat, in order to not trigger any unwanted volcanic activity. Although, I had hoped for some whitewater rafting down the Rogue river, that couldn’t be.
So it was a happy occurrence, that we flew an exciting Palms to Pines airrace flight from Santa Monica, CA to Redwood, CA, past Lake Shasta, Mount Shasta that finally culminated in Bend, OR. The next day, we headed out to the Deschutes River for some white water rafting. I admit, I was nervous. It was my first white water rafting experience. But I am happy to report, I needn’t have worried: I made it through without falling in!
After the successful flight, Grace and I made our return back to the Central Coast with a slight detour over Crater Later, past Mount Shasta, Lake Shasta and down south.
Like I said before: each experience is incredible and unrepeatable!