Got up this morning to go see Crater Lake National Park before it got too busy.

We arrived at the first overlook area and became breakfast for the mosquitoes 🙄 .  Even with bug spray, you couldn’t stay still for long, as they’d be all over you. But we endured and got some good morning pictures at various stops along the way.

Our first major hike of the day was Cleetwood Cove Trail. This is the only place at Crater Lake where you can walk down to the water. It’s 1.1 miles each way, with a 700+ft change in elevation! Shelly got her hiking poles out for this one, as she knew she would need them for the hike back up.

Nice views of the lake on the hike. The closer we got to the water, the more beautiful it became. So blue and so clear. It is considered to be the cleanest large body of water in the world, at it’s deepest point, it’s 1943 feet deep!

We took a few pictures at the shore into the water of the rocks on the bottom. We’re unsure of how deep it was here, but it was certainly over our heads.

The water is also quite cold, as the lake is only fed by snow and rain. It is from this shoreline that you can take a two hour boat tour of the lake. We opted not to do this at this time, as it would cut into our time to explore the rest of the park.

We took some time to enjoy the lake before hiking back up. The park equates it to climbing 65 flights of stairs! So we would stop to catch the view and our breath many times on the climb up.

Our next stop was Cloudcap Overlook, the highest point on Rim drive at 7960 feet. Nice views!

On to Pumice Castle Overlook. Here, you catch a nice view of orange pumice rock eroded into the shape of a medieval castle.

Next was Phantom Ship Overlook. This is a rocky island in the shape of a small pirate ship, equal in height to a 16 story building.

After our ship viewing, we took a seven mile drive away from the rim to Pinnacles Overlook. These are chimneys that formed when hot ash cooled after the big volcanic eruption. These were neat to see! They were well matched in shape by the surrounding trees.

Back to Rim drive, we stopped to take a short hike on Sun Notch Trail.

This is a must do trial! What beautiful views of the lake. And yes, the water is that blue. We didn’t touch up the color’s in any way!

We also had a closer view of the Phantom Ship.

Leaving there, we pulled off at Vidae Falls, snapped a couple pictures, and headed to Rim Village Visitors Center for more views and pictures.

Our last stop was Watchman Overlook, which has the best views of Wizard Island. This is a cinder-cone volcano with a 90 foot deep crater in its peak.

You can have one of the boats drop you off at this island and then hike to the top! Maybe our next visit here.

Minus the mosquitoes (which seemed to improve as the day went by), this was a perfect day spent admiring God’s creations.