Crater Lake is iconic, like the Grand Canyon. When you see the Grand Canyon, sometimes all you can say is, “Wow, it’s really big.” What everyone says about Crater Lake is, “Wow, it’s really blue.” Yes, it is, and in this post with these uncolor-enhanced photos, I’ll try my best to rouse that reaction in you too.
A couple of years ago we visited Crater Lake in April, when it was still snow-bound. We viewed it from Rim Village, the only viewpoint that was open. It was really blue then too.
This time we wanted to get up close and personal, so we took the “Volcano Boat Tour” around the lake, leaving from the base of Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only way down to the surface of the lake.
Although Cleetwood Cove Trail is smooth and maintained, with benches interspersed for rest, it is described as moderately strenuous, equivalent to about 70 flights of stairs. I imagine they tell you this not to scare you off, but to be free of liability if you don’t make it to the boat on time. I also imagine is prevents some crises on the way back up.
We heeded the advice offered, and gave ourselves plenty of time to get down to the lake along the very pleasant and scenic trail. As we approached the bottom we spied the three tour boats: the Klamath, the Umpqua and the Rogue, named for the rivers that originate near Crater Lake.