September 13th, 2006 (Day 10): Crater Lake National Park
|Crate Lake with Wizard Island seen from The Watchman|
|The Phantom Ship|
Driving north from Klamath Falls on Highway 62 along the eastern lakeshore of Upper Klamath Lake we quickly reached Crater Lake National Park. From Rim Village we had a first view of this exceptional spectecular landscape.
Two wood fire had been inflamed through thunder lightning end of July and beginning of August in the west of the park close to The Watchman and meanwhile joined to one big fire which has been managed but not extinguished by National Park Service and fire fighters. The smoke from this fire disturbed the view a little bit but still it has been breathtaking and we should get much better views during this and the next day.
400.000 years it took to create Mount Mazana, a 12.000 foot high volcano which then collaped within some hours or days after lava was flowing out of its magma chambers. It left behind a huge caldera in which a new much smaller volcano was forming – todays Wizard Island in the azure water of Crater Lake.
A small exhibit in the Sinnott Memorial Overlook also provided an impressive video animation about the volcanic history of this area.
From there we drove to The Watchman and hiked on top of that mountain with a fire lookout to enjoy a view of the scenerie from there.
In the afternoon we did a 1 hour and 45 minute boat tour on the lake which first required to do the Cleetwood Cove Trail hike, the only access from the rim down to the lake.
It was getting dark already until we found this little motel at a lost place called Diamand Lake Junction where we would stay for the next 2 nights.
September 14th (Day 11): Mount Scott
|Lucky squirrel – having such an incredible outlook every morning!|
Today we hiked on top of Mount Scott, the highest elevation in Crater Lake National Park. Outside temperatur had dropped drasticly over night almost down to 0 degree Celsius while it had been more than 20 degrees the day before. Ranger told us that actually snow was expected.
Nevertheless, it was a dry and sunny day. It has been a moderate hike and the view from top of Mount Scott was great.
In the afternoon we visted The Pinnacles, bizarre rock formations in the southeast of the park, and the historic Crater Lake Lodge for a tea time.Did you know that Crater Lake is the deepest lake in USA and the 7th deepest lake of the world and that it also holds a world record in water clarity ?