Pages   Design   Commerce   Marketing   Analytics   Comments   Settings   Help   MG MARISSA G. 3  Filename (Optional)  marissa-travelhappy-luxury-vacation-travel-agent

Hi.

Welcome to travelhappy.

This is my little home on the internet dedicated to documenting adventures in luxury and family travel, delicious food, and everyday Hawaii #momlife.

dream bigger, travelhappier Marissa

 
Guide: Crater Lake National Park | travelhappy family vacay

Guide: Crater Lake National Park | travelhappy family vacay

That Phantom Ship looks tiny, but it’s actually as tall as a 16-story building. This view was from the Sun Notch trail in the morning.

That Phantom Ship looks tiny, but it’s actually as tall as a 16-story building. This view was from the Sun Notch trail in the morning.

 
View from Crater Lake Lodge in the afternoon

View from Crater Lake Lodge in the afternoon

Why Go?

Crater Lake is the deepest and purest lake in the United States, and it is breathtakingly pretty.

Formed just 7,700 years ago by the volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama, the creation of Crater Lake was witnessed by the natives who lived in the area. At 6,000 - 8,000 feet high in elevation, Crater Lake remains filled entirely by precipitation (snow and rainfall!) and has no rivers or tributaries.

The lake was so still in the morning on our second day that it made for some really cool photos.

The lake was so still in the morning on our second day that it made for some really cool photos.

What to Do

You’ll want to drive (either in your car or on the trolley) around to see the lake from all angles - when it’s entirely open, the drive can be done in an hour, but rangers advise giving at least 2-3 hours including stops at scenic points. Because we were with 3 toddlers (ages 1-3), we stuck to activities labeled “wheelchair accessible.”

You can also hike, take a boat ride across the lake, or ride a trolley around the rim (but note that the boat rides are only for those ages 3+). There are also daily ranger talks and stargazing lectures, check the summer flyer for details.

Sunsets are so pretty there, and it’s a great place to see stars because there’s very little light pollution.

Sunsets are so pretty there, and it’s a great place to see stars because there’s very little light pollution.

When to Visit

The best time to visit is in the summer.

While Crater Lake National Park is technically open year-round, the road looping around Crater Lake (“Rim Drive”) is only open during the summer, after they’ve cleared the snow. There are also a few days each summer when the roads are open to bikers and pedestrians but closed to cars — check the Crater Lake NPS site for details.

View of Phantom Ship

View of Phantom Ship

Vidae Falls is right on the side of the road, which is nice because you don’t have to hike through mosquitoes to see it.

Vidae Falls is right on the side of the road, which is nice because you don’t have to hike through mosquitoes to see it.

When we visited the park during the first week of July, part of Rim Drive still remained closed, but we were able to see maybe 3/4 of it.

And bring mosquito repellent: you wouldn’t expect it, but the park has massive mosquitos that lay eggs in snow and then arise during the summer like zombies and leave massive welts.

 
My husband snapped this photo of me and my little chickadee while I was checking between my tank top and sweatshirt for mosquitos! Omg. We used repellent on our exposed parts, but these suckers bit through our clothes. Yuck!

My husband snapped this photo of me and my little chickadee while I was checking between my tank top and sweatshirt for mosquitos! Omg. We used repellent on our exposed parts, but these suckers bit through our clothes. Yuck!

 

How to Get There

Crater Lake is 3 hours south of Portland and about 1.5 hours south of Bend, Oregon. It’s a beautiful drive!

bend to crater lake.jpg

Where to Stay

We stayed at Crater Lake Lodge, which was very basic but also super convenient. I wrote about it here. We stayed two nights, but we could have stayed three or more if it were later in the summer and there were more to do, and/o if we were more adventurous and traveling without toddlers.

Crater Lake Lodge.

Crater Lake Lodge.

More Travel Posts

 
Shopping and Eating in Bend, Oregon

Shopping and Eating in Bend, Oregon

Introducing Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous | free luxe amenities just for booking through travelhappy

Introducing Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous | free luxe amenities just for booking through travelhappy