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“Beyond My Expectations - and I expected a lot”

Crater Lake National Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Beautiful lake which is the centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The anniversary we were celebrating was in May, but I put the vacation off until June hoping we'd get to see just a little bit more of Crater Lake. The delay paid off, because the North entrance opened the day we drove down. It was a twelve day tour of Oregon and I decided Oregon was easily the most beautiful place I'd ever visited and Crater Lake is easily the jewel in the crown.

The National Park Service website is very handy for this attraction. It keeps you well informed about the park. I'd recommend bookmarking it if you're planing to visit. I knew before I got there that only a portion of the park would be open and had fun watching how much of the north entrance road was being plowed during the weeks before my visit.

However, no amount of planning can prepare you for the impact of your first glimpse of the lake. How did anything ever get so blue? I'd looked at a lot of pictures of the lake, but until I saw it, I was sure they'd all been photoshopped. Nope, it's just that blue. I'm glad I went when snow was still on the ground, because I think the stark white enhanced the color.

We were there only a few hours, taking pictures, playing in the snow, visiting the gift shop and inn, but it was a marvelous few hours. The park is open all year, but during winter there's only a small bit available. Don't let that deter you. This place is gorgeous. If all you get is a brief glance at the lake, it's worth the drive from wherever you are.

1  Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 244 reviews
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in 158 reviews
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in 98 reviews
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1,930 - 1,934 of 2,489 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

Crater Lake is wondrous at any time but you may think summer is the only time for hiking or family...not so. We visited on a Sunday, busy but not crowded, clear blue sky and light clouds reflecting in the lake. So what to do: only the visitor center and small store/deli are open?!? Take a hike! The rim road is snowed in but cross country skiers keep the track fresh. No skis, no problem. We did not even use snow shoes and hiked nearly 3 miles out on a pretty well packed snow path. Most of the time we were by ourselves. And if the quiet of nature is important, know that snowmobiles are not allowed at the south end of the park at all, so it is just the wind and the voices, yours and the others who take the chance to get out of the car. Several families with smaller children also hiked or skied that afternoon. Highly recommended! No fee in winter.

3  Thank Ty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Definitely worth the trip - a BEAUTIFUL, beautiful place. The lake is a deep blue color, surrounded by a perfect circle of mountains.

There is a smooth, but steep trail leading down to the lake, where the brave can actually swim/jump off cliffs into the water.

The surrounding area has a lot of great hikes (mostly up to the tops of various mountains) that offer great views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Most trails are very 'thin' in some places, so it's not for the clumsy as the drops can be deadly.

The Lodge/restaurant is very nice, with great food and cute souvenirs. There is also another group of buildings that has a store, laundromat and shower facilities (close to the campground).

There were only two downsides, that weren't a HUGE deal: 1)the drive around the lake (essentially a circle of highway) has a canyon wall on one side and a death drop on the other. Not for nervous drivers. 2) My friend and I camped there in July 2012 and there was still snow in spots. It was fairly warm during the day, but the night dropped below freezing. Please bring appropriate gear (my own fault for not).

1  Thank Shannon31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

One of the most beautiful lakes in the world. If you haven't been there, don't miss it on your next trip to Southern Oregon.

1  Thank Barry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2013

Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful blue lakes I have ever seen! The drive through this small National park is pretty, but the view of the lake from the top is awesome! There is a nice gift shop up on top, for those wishing to buy postcards,etc. The beauty is seeing the lake in person, photos can't totally capture the blueness of the water. If you make the drive 'around the loop' of the lake it takes about 3 hours, or longer if you stop at the overlooks along the way. There is a $10 National Park fee.

1  Thank Moesky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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