Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for...Crater Lake




Nearly halfway through the first week of the A-Z Challenge and we are to the letter C.  I hope everyone is plugging along nicely and not feeling pressured yet!  Today's letter is representative of...



Crater Lake

I love Crater Lake.  It's beautiful, fascinating, and awesome.  Located in Southern Oregon, Crater Lake is a body of water that has formed inside the remains of a once active volcano in the Cascade Range.  The caldera formed by the massive eruption of Mount Mazama 7700 years ago is now filled with crystal clear blue water and two islands; the main one being Wizard Island.  Fed only by rainfall and melting snow, the water is completely replaced every 250 years and one of the purest bodies of water in America in terms of absent pollutants.  The park is open year-round and visited by nearly half a million people annually, but many roads become impassible during the winter months.

Crater Lake at sunset.  Photo by Marc Adamus
Spanning some 5 miles by 6 miles, the depth of the lake fluctuates depending on climate change, rainfall, and snow melt, but it averages between 1148 feet and 1949 feet (at its deepest).  This makes it the deepest lake in the US, the second deepest in North America, and the tenth deepest in the world.  However, if you were to use the average depths of lakes in the world, Crater Lake is the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world.  Going one step further, if you were to compare average depths for all lakes above sea-level, Crater Lake is the deepest.  But that's just cutting hairs ;)

In terms of climate, the lake is situation in a region regarded as subalpine (immediately below the world's treeline) with an average snowfall of 13.3 meters (535.5 inches) often remaining until mid-July.  Temperatures are mild and dry in the summer and bitter cold in the winter. 

Crater Lake is not only beautiful scenery, but there are a multitude of activities that one can participate in.  In the summer months, you can camp, hike, take boat tours, feed chipmunks, and fish in the National Park.  In the winter months, as long as you can get to the lake, there are snowmobile tours, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in certain areas.  Whatever your chosen activity, Crater Lake has something for you.

Historically, Crater Lake is regarded as a sacred site for the Native American Klamath tribe.  Their legend claims that the formation of the caldera was the result of a battle between the sky god, Skell, and the god of the underworld, Llao.  Mount Mazama was destroyed during this battle and Crater Lake was formed.  The lake is often used for vision quests by members of the tribe and those who complete the often dangerous task of scaling the caldera are considered to have higher spiritual powers.
Crater Lake in the summer

16 comments:

  1. Oh God I need to travel there. Like, as in, right NOW.

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  2. It's completely worth the visit!! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. O it looks absolutely magical as indeed it is with the history of Skell and Llao! Thank you for sharing this lovely part of the world!

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    1. You're welcome, Susan :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Oh my!! I have never seen pictures of Crater Lake! It is beautiful, and your information of this stunning body of water was perfect. Great Post!! www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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  5. I live in Oregon, so its easy to take things like this for granted...but your post reminded me just how beautiful this is :)

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    1. Sarah, I know exactly what you mean. I haven't been to Crater Lake in years!

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  6. Mel, I need to put Crater Lake on my bucket list! Thanks for your post. You're giving great info!

    The Write Soil

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    1. Hi, Dawn! It's definitely worth seeing. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Definitely fascinating!! Deep lakes are both scary and fascinating at the same time. It looks like a very peaceful place to be, too!

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    1. I understand the fear, Susanne. However, the nice thing about Crater Lake is that there is a depth clarity of nearly 150 feet!!

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  8. Replies
    1. Agreed :) Thanks for stopping by.

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