A Spectacular Marvel Of Nature: #CraterLake

The magnificent Crater Lake

I have seen many lakes – from the breathtaking Tshangu lake in Sikkim (India) near Chinese border to the amazing Pangong lake in Leh near Ladakh in the Himalayas, Dal lake, named as the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir,” the finger lakes in Buffalo (New York) and many more.

None could elicit as speechless a response from me as the one I visited last week. None could inspire me to share my ethereal experience of being mesmerized by its view.

I have been looking for words to describe the beauty of Crater Lake ever since I set my eyes on this spectacular marvel of nature but words seem to fall apart…should I say exquisite…magnificient or a spiritual delight?

When I looked at it, the first word that came to my mind was WOW! Its pristine glory, its tranquility and its wondrous aura captivated me beyond words. I stood rooted to the ground, frozen, not by the gusty winds and sleet that welcomed us but by its celestial beauty.

“Crater Lake must be seen to be appreciated properly,” said Thomas J. Williams, former superintendent of Crater Lake National Park, “photographs simply cannot depict the majesty of the lake in its setting, the depth of the blue.”

The words of Author, Jack London that I happened to read at the Visitor center at Park Headquarters really resonate with me, “I thought I had gazed upon everything beautiful in nature as I have spent my years traveling thousands of miles to visit the beauty spots of the earth, but I have reached the climax. Never again can I gaze upon the beauty spots of the earth and enjoy them as being the finest thing I have ever seen. Crater Lake is above them above them all.”

Created out of fire, lava and smoke, this unique lake took many years to come to its present form. A caldera was formed when Mount Mazama (a volcano in south-central Oregon) collapsed. Lava eruptions created a central platform, Wizard island and Merriam Cone. Eventually the caldera cooled, allowing rain and snow to accumulate and form a lake.

Wizard Island in Crater Lake
Wizard Island

We watched a 22-minute film about the park’s violent past and its present grandeur. It is shown at the Steel Visitor Center at Park Headquarters.

We drove around the east rim of the lake the day we arrived (many thanks to our amiable hostess who told us)  because it was to be closed to vehicular traffic the next day for repairs. Rim drive, which was built in 1930s, is a 33-mile road that encircles Crater Lake. It offers ‘dramatic views’ of the lake and the park’s volcanic scenery.

Sun and mist played hide and seek and erased the deep blue color of the lake. Sunsets in the park are said to be amazing but we couldn’t savor them. A hushed desire to go again simmers within my heart.

Undeterred by sleet and rain, we hiked to Sun Notch to view The Phantom Ship, an island in the lake, that seems to be sailing away. From easy walks to challenging hikes, Crater National Park, which was established in 1902 has something for everyone – boat tours, trolley tours, camping, fishing, sky gazing, sunsets, wildlife viewing, food and dining in Crater Lake Lodge and even swimming in the ice-cold water of the lake!

Phantom ship & Rhyodacite dome
Mist is trying to hide the Phantom ship & Rhyodacite dome in the lake

We couldn’t enjoy all the activities due to early snow and bad weather on the day we chose to visit but the memories that we carried are permanently etched on our minds.

The drive through the park was a little scary but very beautiful, with thick forest on both sides of the road. We were caught unawares by a sudden snowfall when we decided to drive to Annie’s Restaurant for dinner and had to return empty stomach! But there were no regrets because we had had a sumptuous lunch at the Lodge restaurant and could drive through the thick snow on the slippery road.

The Pinnacles
These pinnacles were formed by volcanic eruptions, another marvel of nature, well preserved!

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

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64 thoughts on “A Spectacular Marvel Of Nature: #CraterLake

  1. WOW Balroop, your account of seeing Crater Lake is stunningly beautiful. You have in a poetic prose captured the awe, beauty and spirituality of the place. Through your words I feel I can see it and yet I do understand it needs to be seen to be understood.
    Thank you so much for sharing this strong experience
    miriam

  2. Like you said, WOW. Crater Lake is stunning, and that first photo is stunning. So big, so blue, so calm and it must have been spectacular to look at with you own eyes. That is quite a name for an island, Wizard Island. Looks like a random island right there, and what a creation out of fire, lava and smoke – such a rich history right there. So sorry to hear you didn’t get to enjoy quite a few of the activities there but it looks like you saw a large rainbow 🙂 It sounded like such a fun getaway and hope you have a few more – and next time, an adventure with plenty of good food 🙂

    Different post from your usual poems and life musings, but i really enjoyed this one. Felt like I was on the trip with you.

    1. If you look at the pictures of Crater Lake online, you would see a different blue color, very deep…the colors change according to the weather and yes, the tranquility of the lake was overwhelming, that’s why it is nothing less than ephemeral! If there is any Heaven, it must be like this…in vain do people look at the sky when they talk about Heaven!
      Would you believe, we didn’t notice the rainbow at that time because all our attention was towards the Pinnacles – the natural formations that stand a mute witness to the volcanic eruptions in the past. 🙂 They looked so glorious!
      Thanks for liking this post Mabel, I have added another category to my posts with this one called – Nature and would be sharing more. 🙂

      1. The colours change according to the weather – that is amazing. Perhaps it could even change colour throughout the day.

        Hahaha! So glad you spotted the rainbow. So many beautiful sights there and it can be easy to get carried away just admiring one direction for all it’s worth 🙂

  3. To be honest, each national park in US has something unique. Although the entry fees​ are steep for most parks, I feel they are worth for nature lovers​. Surely US national parks are one of the best around. Thanks for this virtual tour.

    1. You are right about the unique quality of National Parks here but the entry fee is not high. Most of them have $10 – 20, which is no big deal for people here. We paid $15 and the pass was valid for seven days. At another park we paid $10 and that was valid for a month. 🙂

    1. I would highly recommend this trip but next year now because the best time must be June and July. Though the Park is open till October but snow has already started and locals were saying that they haven’t seen the Autumn this year and winter is already setting in.

  4. Crater lake has been on my mind since so many years…I’ve read about it a lot. Well, yours is another experience that adds up to my excitement. I would love to drive around it and visit the wizard island too!

  5. The lake does look beautiful and you have described it so well. There are places that leave an indelible mark in our memories and if its something related to nature ….. they become therapeutic. Your stay amidst this environ must have been splendid!

    1. This was not on my bucket list till I happened to see a picture of one of my friends and all the list faded before this wish. I agree it is magical. Thanks for sharing your thought Adele.

  6. Crater Lake is absolutely fabulous. I’ve visited twice, and the roommate I had when I worked in Yellowstone in college had worked a summer there. When I visited last year in June, the snow was still to high so the road wasn’t open all the way around. Plus, my guy’s son wanted to do the boat ride, but that wasn’t up and running yet either. We still had lots of fun stopping at all the viewpoints and taking in that expanse of sapphire blue. It’s also quite cozy to sit on one of the rocking chairs at the back of lodge and soak in the view while sipping on a beverage.

  7. What a beautiful trip Balroop, Nature creates such amazing views of beauty even out of dramatic turbulence of past violent eruptions.. Nothing is ever wasted.. And all things even in their humble volatile beginnings after time we see how Nature corrects the balance and brings once again Calm, Peace and Life to a once desolate place..
    I am delighted you shared your journey with us Balroop and snow in the mountain ranges I am sure we are not used to. I remember going to one mountain top in Canada, in the year 2000, and was amazed at the amounts of snow still there and the lakes were just beginning to melt at the beginning of June..
    Loved your photos Balroop.. And I am happy your journey ended safely in the snow..
    Love and Blessings my friend .. Take care of you..
    Love Sue 🙂

    1. It was indeed a wonderful trip and made more memorable by the loving friends we had with us. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze us in all her forms, lending tranquility as well as awe to the surroundings. I have had the fun of walking on the Pangong Lake when we visited Leh (famous for the roof of the world) as it was completely frozen even in the month of April. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sue. Love and hugs.

  8. Thanks Balroop for taking us on a virtual tour of the Crater lake. If the pictures are so surreal and beautiful the actual place must be breathtakingly serene yet stunning! I guess being there must have been experiencing the heavenly bliss 🙂

  9. Yes, I do not remember seeing Crater Lake, so we must not have done it as a family. My daughter and father and friends have been there, and the photos they’ve taken are just stunning. Glad you were able to visit! And perhaps one day I shall also have that opportunity. Aloha, Balroop! ❤

  10. Crater Lake looks and sounds incredible! I had not been there. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip and shared it with us ❤ Nature amazes, doesn't it?! I find it really helps me to center myself.

  11. Acts and forces of nature are the most wonderful ways to feel inspired and full of gratefulness for being part of this world – for being part of nature. Thanks for sharing these splendid photos with your wonderful prose, Balroop.

  12. Balroop, wow!! 😀😀 First of all, I had trouble moving past your first wondrous photo and just kept scrolling back in awe. Wow! What a magnificent lake and thank you for describing it and your visit so eloquently to us…whilst soaking up the views I absorbed your words for a fully immersive experience. ‘Celestial beauty’ indeed. Even if the weather wasn’t the best for you the trip round the rim looks stunning and dramatic, the phantom ship looks spooky. An ethereal visit and no wonder there is ‘. A hushed desire to go again simmers within my heart.’ A desire reflected in my own heart and mind…❤️

    1. Thanks Annika, I am delighted that you found this picture ‘wondrous’…the reality is much more than that! I have not seen such beauty and what a wonderful experience it was…words couldn’t convey that! 🙂

  13. A fantastic re-cap and introduction of Crater Lake with this post Balroop ~ an awesome place! Crater Lake is in my home state of Oregon, and I remember my first visit when I was young and learned all about its history and geology. Fascinating. You’ve also taken some incredible photos of the area as well…it has been some time since I have visited so to she your shots warms my heart 🙂 Wishing you wonderful and safe travels!

    1. Wow! I am glad to know that Crater Lake is in your home state Randall…early impressions of such a beautiful places are eternal and I know you must have carried those impressions as your love for Nature is so great! You are so kind dear friend…Thanks for liking the pictures though they would be worthless for a superb photographer like you. Many thanks for standing by to share your thoughts.

      1. Very true, I think when a place touches your heart it makes a huge impact and you carry it around with you. It becomes a part of you. Wishing you a great week ahead Balroop.

  14. Balroop, seems it was an epiphany for you and reading your wonderful usage of words was serendipity for me. When you were making that comparison I knew something special is going to come. You have taken the breathe away from me when all three were left behind, all three in India are epitome of beauty and Pongong Lake in Leh has something truly mystical and now above all these stands the Crater Lake, it must be stunning and the choice of word you have used to describe “ethereal”, “celestial”, signifies it’s beauty in the eyes of beholder.

    With such a turbulent past with volcanic eruption playing its disruptive part and today it stands with such calm and so much serenity surrounding the place does make it magical, nature goes through this cycle of physical transformation and some places the transformation takes a turn for unmatched beauty.

    The Phantom ship picture was like a straight pick from the fairyland…wonderful memories of such places does leaves us wanting for more and therein lies the urge to feed our curiosity and creativity gets new avenues to explore…thanks so much Balroop for taking us through a virtual tour so magical and mystical, it will remain for long time to come…
    😀

    1. As always you have immersed yourself in my words Nihar…Many thanks for feeling each word I have used. In fact, as I have already stated, right words eluded me and I couldn’t decide whether I had the vocabulary to describe this beauty of nature! You have righty found that Phantom Ship to be straight out of fairyland! So it seemed when we looked at it, with mist all around, soaking in sleet, standing there, rooted to the ground, almost frozen in zero degree temperature yet having no desire to move. Indeed it was magical and mystical. Probably it wouldn’t seem so if the day had been clear! 🙂 Loved your reflections. Thank you once again.

      1. Yes, I did as always your choice of words are so well placed and timed that it is like a magical connect and I have that fascination for perfect word for the perfect personality that we keep encountering our life. Never easy to get the words that best describes the place which is mystical manifestation of our imagination in real life…and then we realize how pictures take that role and lift the limitation of the power of word to empower our thoughts and emotions that we wanted to convey through our narration.

        Thanks so much Balroop for a wonderful journey.
        😀

  15. Awesome post on Crater Lake, Balroop! My husband and I visited this amazing lake in 2014, while staying in Bend, OR. It was a sight to see, truly awe-inspiring. We went in the summer, so we had good weather, and it was also interesting reading about the history as you mentioned here. We enjoyed a great lunch in the lodge, and also sitting in rocking chairs on the deck in front with spectacular views. I agree with you though that it was a bit scary driving around the lake, but well worth it! Thanks for sharing, and your photos are gorgeous. We have many also to remember this wonderful place.

    1. Wow! you visited Crater Lake! I am sure you must have carried wonderful memories…you are right Lauren, the whole experience is indeed awe-inspiring! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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