Crater Lake National Park With Snow and The Rogue Gorge

May 8th ~ Southern Oregon

Crater Lake in early May

There is only one National Park in the entire state of Oregon, and it certainly deserves this ranking. 

Bare trees and a bit of ground showing here and there

Crater Lake National Park 

Crater Lake was formed when Mount Mazama erupted, collapsed into itself and eventually filled up with a combination of rain water and melted snow. Wizard Island is a main focal point.

Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone which forms an island at the west end of Crater Lake. The top of the island reaches 6,933 feet (2,113 m) above sea level, about 755 feet (230 m) above the average surface of the lake. The cone is capped by a volcanic crater about 500 feet (150 m) wide and 100 feet (30 m) deep. The crater was named the “Witches Cauldron” by William Gladstone Steel in 1885, who also gave Wizard Island its name at the same time.” ~ Wikipedia

The crater rim stands high above the water

“Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine on earth.” ~

Another angle

This was the first time I have visited the park this early in the season and there was still quite a bit of snow. Most of the road including the rim drive around the lake was still closed, along with the lodge. But, we were able to get to a couple of view spots to take a few pictures. This map shows which roads were open.

Only the roads in red and gray were open.

It still takes my breath away each time I see it

They had a small cafe open where we were able to get a warm lunch. In the gift shop both Laura and I found Crater Lake souvenir shirts we liked.  After a quick change in the public restroom, we had to have our pictures taken together to show them off. Kind of reminded us of “Besties” from high school days, lol.

Four friends on the rim of Crater Lake with Wizard Island in the background

As is my norm, I took way to many pictures, but such happy memories…

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The surrounding forest and meadows still had a deep coat of white.

The cloud formations were as beautiful as the snow

The lodge was still closed

Rogue Gorge

The Rogue Gorge

We got to see both ends of the Rogue River. The headwater is just below Crater Lake and runs all the way to the Pacific Ocean, terminating at Gold Beach. In case you missed that post where we took Jerry’s Rogue Jet boats, you can find it by clicking here.

Not far downstream from Crater Lake is a natural gorge where the river narrows and is forced through and over the remains of old lava tubes.

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Michael shot a short video of the falls which demonstrates the power.

If you are curious to see what Crater Lake and the Rogue Gorge looks like without all the snow, here is a link to when we last visited here in the fall of 2015.

Almost right next door to the gorge, is the small Beckie’s Restaurant which is a very popular stopping off point for many travelers going to/from Crater Lake. We were a little too early in the season for their famous huckleberry pie. I had to settle for a slice of “Very Berry” pie à la mode, and Laura selected a root beer float that comes with an extra glass of root beer to keep topping it off.

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GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we got to see Crater Lake surrounded in snow. Before I was born, my father taught snow skiing here one year, so I felt like I got a tiny glimpse into what he witnessed so many years ago. Treasured moments…

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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28 Responses to Crater Lake National Park With Snow and The Rogue Gorge

  1. Laura Urban says:

    Crater Lake in the snow was magnificent! Hopefully we can all revisit it and drive around the rim. The Gorge was an added bonus. Loving our trip and appreciate the time it took to arrange these special moments ❤️


  2. obsidianmanatee says:

    I visited in the summer about ten years ago, but from your pics it is even more beautiful in the snow.


  3. conspicari says:

    Lovely images. Crater Lake was one of my all time favourite places when I visited the USA. I have picture I took overlooking Wizard Island in prime position above the fireplace in the sitting room.


  4. sheilsm says:

    On my bucket list to visit this National park someday. Thank you for sharing your adventure!


  5. My family visited Crater Lake when I was much too young to remember. I’d love to get there again one day and it’s certainly gorgeous in the snow.



  6. joliesattic says:

    Beautiful!! I love pie a la mode.


  7. Terry says:

    On my list for a return visit to get my passport stamped. I haven’t been there since 1967 when I was 12. MIght drive through on m y drive north in July.


  8. Great Pictures. thanks for sharing


  9. Great post. Lovely photos. I have started to go and visit that park a million times and have never made it because I am always trying to get somewhere or trying to get home. One of these days…thanks for taking me there in the meantime.


  10. curvyroads says:

    Crater Lake is a major bucket list item for me and I would love to see it in the snow! Such beautiful pictures!


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