“I expected something remarkable but was not prepared for a scene of such wonder and beauty … How exquisite, rare, unreal.”—Zane Grey, 1919
Formed by the eruption of Mount Mazama more than 6,000 years ago, the view of the impossibly azure water of Crater Lake has inspired countless writers, photographers and visitors over the years.
It’s the final payoff to any trip to Southern Oregon, where a visit to historic gold rush towns and award-winning wineries can be paired with discovering one of the West’s largest cave systems and rafting iconic rivers, like the Umpqua and the Rogue. Here’s how to start exploring.
Find Your Park: Crater Lake
Most of Crater Lake’s visitors come in the summer, but this National Park is worth exploring in all four seasons. Here are the wonders you can expect to find in winter, spring, summer and fall when you explore the country’s deepest lake.
Summer Weekend at Crater Lake
Countless generations have waxed rhapsodic over the sight of Crater Lake’s blue waters. It’s the view that compels people from all over the world to visit Oregon’s most popular national park site. Here’s what to expect if you plan a visit during the busy season.
Southern Oregon Lake Country
With warmer temperatures and beautiful byways, this region makes for a fun road trip with great hiking, bird watching and boating. Follow this itinerary to check out the state’s beautiful southern lake country.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
The high points are many on this volcano-to-volcano 140-mile drive, where eons of eruptions and lava flows left a fiery heritage of cinder cones, pumice plains and unforgettable Crater Lake.
Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway
Two of Oregon’s nationally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers lead the way on this 172-mile route, an ever-changing feast of white water, waterfalls and deep gorges gouged in the deeply forested southern Cascade Mountains.