Pacific Northwest: Crater Lake

Crater Lake was formed when Mount Mazama, a 12,000-foot volcano, violently erupted approximately 7,700 year ago. No longer able to support its own weight once the magma chamber was emptied, Mount Mazama collapsed and a caldera was formed. This caldera then filled with rain and snowfall. Since no streams run into the lake, there is very little sediment to cloud the water.

The lake has thick mats of bacteria at depths where there is no light. There are also thick rings of moss, reaching depths of 400 feet, along the caldera walls. Hydrothermal pools have also been discovered, indicating a volcanic heat source. Mount Mazama may be dormant, but it is not extinct.

Our visit to Crater Lake was a drive through due to time constraints. There were also some closures in the park due to trail repair. The only campground for RVs is Mazama Village. The park is beautiful an is on our list to return to.

Gallery: Click on a picture to open the gallery.

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