The climb (in the car) to Crater Lake is very gradual. Long straight roads with stately spruce on either side for miles. Once in the park the climb becomes a bit more intense. A number of switchbacks and suddenly the lake appears to the right.
We pulled over to the first pullout and were not disappointed. Wizard Island (a volcano within a volcano) pokes its pointed, cindery self, past the sapphire blue of the lake waters. The crater edge is sharp and drops to the shore of the lake in two ways. Straight down a cinder slope or straight off a jagged cliff. Take your pick. To get an idea of distance to the water’s edge from the Rim Drive, the hike down to the boat tour is 1 mile. I’m sure there are switchbacks as part of the trail, but still, it’s quite a ways down.
Part of the rim is closed… snow prevents safe travel. Yes, I said snow. We grabbed a handful today and even watched a family slide down a slope (away from the crater). Snow in July. Crazy. So, we slowly traveled 3/4 of the way around the rim and headed back the way we came. Well, almost… but that’s another post. Stay tuned…
Oh, and be sure to catch the previous post. It was a two post day!