Crater Lake is located about 3 hours south of Eugene, Oregon, and is one of America's most beautiful National Parks. Crater Lake is roughly 6 miles wide and 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States, and one of the deepest lakes in the world.
Mount Mazama & The formation of Crater Lake
Mount Mazama was a cluster of volcanoes that overlapped one another in the Cascade Mountain Range, specifically located in what is now Oregon, and eventually became crater lake! As some volcanoes in Mount Mazama erupted, Mount Scott, nearby Crater Lake, was created, as shown below.
Once Mount Scott was formed, many volcanoes developed to the west, causing Mount Mazama to grow. Eventually, Mount Mazama cataclysmically erupted, spreading ash as far as modern central Canada.
As the magma moved out of the volcanic chamber quickly, there was no support for the top of the mountain, causing it to collapse. The caldera began to fill with rain, snow, and runoff about 5,000 or 6,000 years ago. It took about 250 years for the caldera to fill to its modern day level. Now, the water level remains the same because the lake takes in runoff at the same rate that it evaporates. Take a look at the photo below of the varying depths of crater lake!
Why visit Crater Lake?
Crater Lake is absolutely beautiful! The water is startlingly blue, and extremely deep. This makes Crater Lake a breathtaking geologic feature of the Northwestern region of the United States.
Clearly, there are many opportunities for outdoor fun at Crater Lake National Park. Try swimming in the cool waters, taking a peaceful boat ride around the lake, or hiking on one of the endless nearby trails. Visitors can also drive around the lake for dazzling views on Rim Drive, the 33-mile loop. With Crater Lake being open 24 hours a day, visitors can have fun any time they want. For only $15 a day, this is a pretty sweet deal!