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Week 6: Crater Lake

Posted by: | August 6, 2017 | 2 Comments |

This past weekend, a bunch of the Sea Grant scholars went to Crater Lake National Park. I had only ever been to one other national park, so since Crater Lake is only a few hours from Charleston, it was one of the top things on my list to see this summer.

We first hiked to Garfield Peak, a trail that winds along the ridge of Crater Lake to a high peak that lets you see views of the lake and mountains to the north and south. The trail passes through fields with wildflowers and groves of hemlocks, pines and firs. There were so many butterflies and bees around! There was still snow remaining towards the end of the trail that we had to cross to reach the top of the peak, but it had been compacted down and was pretty easy to cross. It was still a bit of a strange experience to hike through snow in the summer.

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At the top of the peak, the views of Crater Lake and the area were beautiful. At points along the trail, you could see Cascades to the north (including one of the Sisters) and south and Mt. Shasta way off in the distance. The water in the lake was completely still when we first arrived, creating a perfect mirror of the sky, caldera, and Wizard Island.

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After hiking Garfield Peak, we drove around the rim of the lake to Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only place that the water can be accessed at Crater Lake. It was a short and steep trail down to the water, where we then could jump in and swim. Though the water was cold, it was not nearly as freezing as Tamolitch Falls, so we were actually able to stay swimming in the water for about 30 minutes. It was so cool to be at the bottom of the caldera, in the water, looking up at the cliffs.

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We then continued to drive on Rim Road, circumnavigating the entire lake, and stopped along the way to enjoy the view. We eventually made it back to Crater Lake Lodge in the evening, where we decided to have a drink and sit on the deck overlooking Crater Lake. It was a great end to an awesome weekend!

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P.S. Thank you to Katie Gregory for letting me use all her pictures since I never take any!

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2 Comments

  1. By: Haley on August 8, 2017 at 3:53 pm      

    Isn’t it wild how snow remains so late into the year in some higher elevation locations? I feel strange hiking on snow too when I’m wearing shorts and a tanktop! I’m happy to hear that you’ve crossed another National Park off of your list, I think it’s the coolest one anyways :)

  2. By: Sarah K on August 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm      

    Love that photo of you two on the lodge porch! But the swimming shot is great, too. So glad you made it to Crater Lake – it’s such a special place.

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