Since it was first discovered by Native American inhabitants 8,000 years ago, Crater Lake has inspired awe. Set in the Cascade Mountain Range, its rain and snow-fed waters may be the purest naturally occurring on earth. In winter, Crater Lake National Park Cabins are blanketed in 43 ft. of snow, enfolding you in a white wonderland.
Beautiful Hikes in Crater Lake National Park
Snowshoe through crisp white snow in winter, or hike trails through meadows filled with wild flowers in summer. The cool alpine forests of this park are a habitat for rare wildlife, and secret islands float on the lake's perimeter. Here are some of the most special walks which you can enjoy from the doorstep of Crater Lake National Park Cabins:
1. Crater Lake Rim Walk
Come here in winter and snowshoe around the lake's perimeter with a guide every Saturday and Sunday between November and April. There are limited spaces available on this snowshoe hike for all levels, so prior booking is required. Snowshoeing takes you off the beaten path and through the spectacular forested scenery surrounding Crater Lake.
2. Plaikni Falls
An hour long trek through ancient forests brings you to a shimmering waterfall that is made even more stunning by the arrival of summer flowers. The walk stretches for 2 mi. and ascends 100 ft. Contrary to common assumptions, the source of the waterfall is melting snow, not Crater Lake.
3. Castle Crest Trail
Follow this brief, mile-long loop trail through flower-strewn meadows and gurgling streams, before heading to the nearby Lady of the Woods loop trail. The trail is named after a sculpture of a woman carved which is carved into a boulder on the trail. You can learn more about the park's history at the Steel Visitor Center.
Best Outdoor Adventures in Crater Lake National Park
From roaming elk herds, to wolf packs, to black bears, the wildlife that inhabits the park is as spectacular as the Crater Lake itself. Plunge into the crystal-clear waters, and Crater Lake's numerous engaging outdoor activities:
1. Fish at Cleetwood Cove
Originally, there were no fish in the lake, but six species were introduced, of which only rainbow trout and kokanee salmon remain. Fishing is permitted at the end of the Cleetwood Cove Trail, along 3 mi. of shoreline, and on Wizard Island. To preserve the lake's ecosystem, special restrictions apply.
2. Swim at Cleetwood Cove
You can swim in the gin-clear waters of the lake at Wizard Island and Cleetwood Cove. The latter can only be reached by boat, but is well worth the effort. The rocky shoreline and cold water make swimming here a bracing yet elemental experience.
3. East Rim Drive
Take a spin along East Rim Drive to enjoy stunning panoramas over this sacred location. You'll understand why the crystalline Crater Lake is so fascinating to Native American tribes when you see its beauty from the vantage point of this cinematic road. Herds of elk, bobcats, and mountain lions are very occasionally spotted in the surrounding meadows. Wolves, bald eagles, and black bears are also in attendance, though elusive.
Best Family Activities in Crater Lake National Park
The spiritual home of Native American tribes for thousands of years, this natural marvel is a source of wonder for young and old alike. With stargazing, surreal landscapes, and exciting wildlife to spot, your family will be entranced by all that there is to see and do when staying at hotels near Crater Lake National Park:
1. Hike to the Phantom Ship
Take your kids on an adventure quest to find the Phantom Ship, an island that floats just off the south shore of the lake. You can also catch sight of this intriguing island by hiking up to the eponymous viewpoint of the same name. Alternatively, hike to Sun Notch and enjoy superb views.
2. Milky Way Viewings
Come nightfall, the sky twinkles with stars. When there is no moon, the night pitch black. Children will love sighting satellites, meteors, and even planets from Crater Lake National Park Cabins. Ranger hikes up Watchman Peak situate you in the best place in the park from which to watch the sunset. Discovery Point is a favorite sunrise destination.
3. See The Pinnacles
The same eruption that created the lake produced brightly colored spires of volcanic rock, known as the Pinnacles. They are hiding in the south-east corner of the lake, and will stun your family with their natural, but strange shapes.
4. Attend Ranger Talks
Sinnott Memorial Overlook balances on a rock ledge and combines superlative lake views with exhibits on geology and scientific research. Daily Ranger Talks on the latest discoveries and the park's remarkable features will entrance your family.
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