Standing the lip of the caldera and looking upon the deep blue lake almost constitute a religious experience. Crater Lake was formed approx. 7700 years ago when the top of Mount Mazama collapsed during a volcanic eruption. The deep blue color results when other colors of the spectrum are absorbed by the upper layers of the lake while blue light is scattered by the deepest layer.
Wizard island is visible.
Not long after we arrived, smoke from Oregon’s forest fires formed a heavy white pall over everything. We could barely make out the surface of the lake. That spelled the end of the day for us :(
Rogue River National Forest in southern Oregon is about 0.5 hour from Crater Lake. A 3.5-mile hiking trail along the river leads to many scenic views of the canyon carved by the river and several waterfalls. At the end of the trail is a “natural bridge”, formed when the Rogue River ducks underground.
Here the Rogue River dives underground and emerges about 50 feet downstream, resulting in a rock bed that one can simply walk across. In fact, in the old days, that was how native Americans crossed the bridge. Also visible here are many potholes, smooth circular depressions sculpted into the rocks by the grinding action of smaller rocks churned by the turbulent water.