Crater Lake. Oregon, USA
This is truly a fabulous place, so secluded and quiet. However, it wasn’t always so peaceful and calm.
This lake with transparent, clean water is called Crater Lake. It is located in south-central Oregon, western part of the United States. From time to time it is brilliantly blue, and sometimes ominously gloomy, it fascinates with its beauty and uniqueness! In 1957, Nelson Beecher Keyes, the author of the Encyclopedia of American national parks, called Crater Lake one of the three most beautiful natural sites in the world along with the Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls.
Our planet is full of incredible places that have their history, unique destiny, and this is one of them, because it is a volcanic wonder. The lake partially fills the caldera (a depression of the volcanic origin) with a depth of 1,220 meters, which was formed about 7700 years ago after the destruction of the volcano Mount Mazama.
It all started when in 1852 gold was discovered in Oregon in the Daisy Creek. Rumors of gold had caused a massive influx of precious metal-seekers to the region. June 12, 1853 the prospectors John Wesley Hillman, Henry Klippel and Isaac Skiters have found this crater lake and called it Deep Blue Lake. The place where they first saw the lake, is called now Discovery Point.
May 22, 1902 the Crater Lake National Park of the United States was created here thanks to this lake – the only national park in Oregon. The lake and the stunning surrounding landscape are its main attractions, beckoning tourists from around the world.
Dimensions of the lake are: 8.0 by 9.7 km, the average depth of 350 m. The maximum depth is 594 m. It is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America (the deepest – Great Slave Lake) and seventh deepest in the world (Lake Baikal – the deepest). Crater Lake is considered to be the deepest lake in the world, the waters of which are completely above the sea level. The edge of the caldera is located at an altitude of 2 130-2 440 m.
A few words about its origin. About 4860 BC it was the last eruption of the volcano Mount Mazama. Due to the explosion of enormous power the volcanic dust and smoke have risen up high in the air. After the explosion, the top of Mount Mazama became a shell with a cavity at the bottom. Local Indians have witnessed the destruction of the shell of the volcano Mount Mazama, and as a result, a huge smoldering caldera was formed. The water, accumulated in the caldera for centuries in the form of rain and snow, gradually has filled the space and formed this lake.
Top of the mountain was formed from the lava flows, ash and rock debris from previous eruptions. Studies show that hydrothermal activity still occurs in the lake, this suggests that Mount Mazama may wake up again at any time.
Among the attractions of the lake, we can name a Phantom Ship. In fact, it is an island formed from the lava with a maximum top of 48 m high. In the twilight its silhouette is associated with the image of an old ship, lost in the ocean.
Hillman Peak is 70,000-year-old volcanic cone, named after one of the three searchers of gold who first discovered Crater Lake.
Island Wizard – a mountain of volcanic ash rising on height of 233 m above the lake surface. Its name is associated with a pointed hat, attributed to wizards. Without a doubt, there is a lot of magic in this stunningly beautiful place.
Pinnacles. The peaked tops, or pinnacles, were formed as a result of volcanic gases and erosion. First, the hot gases, broken free from the holes in the ground, have strengthened the rock formation. Then, the erosion weathered the soft rock, leaving only the hard steeples.
In the park you will find small rivers, waterfalls, forests. The forest covers a total area of 20 000 hectares. Most of the park is a wildlife area, with a strong network of paved hiking trails with a total length of 225 km. Crater Lake National Park offers a varied range of outdoor activities.
Stories about the deep blue lake will never be able to give a complete picture of its beauty, as long as you do not look at it with the edge of the caldera. Come and enjoy the sight to the full!