Saturday, October 16, 2021

1 Day At Crater Lake

After 6 days on the road, I was nearly ready to call this one and head straight to the Oregon coast, but I'm sooo glad we stuck with it! Eastern Oregon is NOTHING like I had in mind. It's desert. Complete with the usual desert plants and desolate roads. I was honestly shocked. Even as we pulled into the Crater Lake area (and surrounding forests), it was a mixture of desert plants on the ground with big pine trees. We weren't quite expecting that, but the lake itself was magic.

I recommend a car that does well in high elevations and with climbs, because you literally drive around the crater on tight, narrow, curvy roads. As you drive, you're treated with amazing views of Crater Lake, North Crater, and surrounding mountains. On this day, it was sunny, clear, and extremely windy! The Rim Trail is totally our jam, but we had Zeus with us and dogs are not allowed on any trails. Nearly a quarter mile of the Rim Trail is paved (which means dogs are allowed), so we walked along that, stopping to take plenty of pictures. 

My shock for the day was not how gorgeous Crater Lake was, but in seeing Eastern Oregon. I ddin't realize it was a desert out there! I was in awe upon seeing Crater Lake in the distance. You (obviously) can't see the lake because it's in a crater, but you can see the steep sides of the crater in the distance. It was thrilling.

I would argue that our drive from Crater Lake, across Oregon to our next leg of the trip was just as beautiful as the national park. As we headed west from Crater Lake, the landscape changed from mountains with desert plants to pine trees to picture perfect forests. I pulled over to walk next to a small mountain lake to stretch our legs (pictured above). Shortly after walking, we drove through mountain rain and were greeted by a rainbow (pictured below) as we pulled into Salem, OR.