I’m embarrassed to say I have lived in Oregon most of my life and I had never been to Crater Lake. I had flown over it and thought it looked beautiful, but I had never driven to it and looked at it in all it’s glory. I will also be honest and say it wasn’t even on my radar as a place to visit, just a thought in the back of my head.
Then everything changed…
I was talking to a friend one day who had just returned and she couldn’t stop talking about it. I knew with it being in the middle of summer there would be no way to get a camp site and sure (even I could afford it) the lodge would be fully booked too.
She let us in on a little secret…
Diamond Lake campground is very close and they have first come first serve campsites. Now, again, it’s summer, so it’s a huge gamble and this place is 4 hours from our home, so turning around is not an option. As we all know most people camp over the weekends, which means they all leave on Sunday and head back home. We got up early and drove and arrived before noon to the campground, on a Sunday. Everyone that was leaving had to be out by 10 or 11, so we had the pick of spots right on Diamond Lake.
With a place to stay, we could relax and enjoy our week.
Crater Lake National Park costs $10 to get into, but it’s a 7 day pass. We were about 10 minutes from Crater Lake, so we took advantage of our proximity. Here is what I love about this place,
Things to Do:
- You can drive around the whole lake taking it in from every side, and we did just this, pulling off at every single viewpoint.
- You can hike down to the water and jump in if you wish. There is only one place in which you can get to the water.
- There is a hike to a waterfall that is within the park.
- There is a short hike to the see the Pinnacles. This is worth the short drive to see.
- There was another hike that took us up even higher for a great view above Crater Lake.
- There is a brochure of all these hikes and more labeled, short, medium and long hikes.
- Just because you don’t stay at the lodge, doesn’t mean you can’t stop and check it out and enjoy one of the best views of the lake.
- It’s a one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.
- With so much to see and do it’s a great vacation destination.
What we discovered:
- The beauty of this place is unfathomable, which is why we stopped at every view point.
- There was more than enough to do.
- I am not one for crowds or going during “prime season” but I never felt like it was over crowded, and we were clearly there in High Season. Some popular trailheads were busy.
- As much as we would love to stay at the Crater Lake Lodge, it will probably never be in our budget travel, but I highly suggest it if you can. (Maybe someday)
- Camping 10 minutes away was not bad at all and we ventured to Crater Lake every day we were there.
- We will go back again, and we will probably marvel at it all over again.
- If you really aren’t into camping there are other options close by where you can stay.
- Always check in advance because they do close parts of it during the winter months.
Have you ever been to Crater Lake? What was your favorite thing?