Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America, leaving all who visit its waters in awe. (Photo credit: Kurt Hettle)

When you look at the deep blue waters of Crater Lake up close, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Here’s how to take a trip around Southern Oregon to see it for yourself:

Crater Lake: Formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano Mt. Mazama, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America, leaving all who visit its waters in awe. There are many different ways to see the lake. You can bike or drive the 33-mile rim drive, hike up to the top of a fire lookout tower or down to the water below. You can take a boat tour of the lake in the summer, or cross-country ski or snowshoe your way around the rim in the winter.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Between February and November each year, Ashland hosts 11 plays at the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland itself is also home to more than 20 art galleries and is surrounded by wineries in the Rogue and Applegate valleys.

Oregon Caves National Monument: The Oregon Caves is one of the few marble caves in the world. Hike on trails in a remnant old-growth coniferous forest, or go below ground to visit an active marble cave created by natural forces over hundreds of thousands of years. You can even stay the night in the five-story wooden Oregon Caves Chateau, built in 1934.

The Rogue River: One of the original eight rivers in the nation to be protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 for its “outstandingly remarkable values,” the Rogue River today is home to some of the best rafting, fishing, kayaking, camping and hiking you’ll find in Oregon.

Getting there: Take the scenic route to Crater Lake. The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway circumnavigates the lake on Rim Drive, then passes through the historic town of Klamath Falls, where you’ll find a treasure trove of Western history at the Favell Museum and bird watching at the wildlife refuges that make up the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

about author Emily Forsha

Emily Forsha is Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager. When she’s not road tripping around the state with her husband and two young boys, this proud native Oregonian is cooking up new recipes in her kitchen, sampling the latest craft brews and cheering on her beloved Oregon Ducks.

This Oregon Story includes one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders. See one, or better yet, see them all!

Learn about all of Oregon’s 7 Wonders
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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Sharon M. Blodgett says…

    You and your readers should be aware that from I-5 you can take a Roseburg exit to access Hwy 138 East that leads to Crater Lake National Park. This route gives you access to the famous world class North Umpqua River where you can fish, whitewater raft, kayak and mountain bike, hike along its trails. In Glide, one can see Colliding Rivers and in Idleyld Park Deadline Falls is the start of 10 great waterfalls. Hwy 138 East also leads to Lemolo and Diamond Lakes. It is one America’s Byways.

    Written on May 7th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  2. Becky Johnstone says…

    We travel with a motorhome and my handicapped father. There is little information on travelling with handicapped individuals. I’ve found we need to travel short distances, it takes a lot longer to get ready to go each morning and it would be nice to develop trips with a lot of handicapped accessible things to do with little travel in between. Perhaps this is mainly a problem with people like us who used to be very active and plan trips with long hikes, mountain climbs, skiing, rafting, fishing, etc. It certainly has been a change in mindset. Some rest areas are not very handicapped friendly from the truck parking area.

    Written on May 8th, 2014 / Flag this Comment
  3. Pat Fiske says…

    Our family took a vacation in 1964-1965 and this is one of the places we visited. It was July and I recall we ran into several weather changes on way up. There was still snow on the ground which fascinated us. We had a big snowball fight. It is indeed a most beautiful and wondrous sight to see.

    Written on May 22nd, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  4. Bill McDaniel says…

    Beautiful…..awesome……please HOW deep?

    Written on April 21st, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  5. Susan Supinski says…

    I will be traveling from Corvallis to Crater Lake in June. I would like to stay at a motel/hotel farely close by , could you recommend a town to stay in?
    Thank you

    Written on June 7th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
  6. Sachie Yorck says…

    Hi Susan! Klamath Falls is the closest city to Crater Lake, and there’s plenty to see and do there.

    Written on June 7th, 2017 / Flag this Comment
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