When we went to Ashland back in February, we really wanted to do a day trip to Crater Lake but with it being winter, our car was not up to the task. On our trip to Bend, we decided to stop in Ashland for a night to visit a good friend and catch a show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland to Bend, an afternoon at Crater Lake is the perfect stopover. We decided to pay the $100+ for the trolley tour, primarily because if we drove around the lake ourselves, one of us would have to focus on driving instead of the unreal views. That person is always Alan because he doesn’t trust my driving while there are pretty views to be seen (rightfully so–it’s distracting!).


Crater Lake is really just water inside the caldera of a volcano, and is ridiculously well-preserved (thanks National Parks Service!). Wizard Island is the most prominent feature of the lake, and it’s actually another volcano inside the caldera of the bigger volcano.


During the summer, you can take boat tours and can get dropped off here on Wizard Island to go fishing. Apparently, the trout is invasive, and you they can’t catch them fast enough!

craterlake-vidae falls

Vidae Falls


This chipmunk was bizarrely comfortable with us humans being really close-by. He was basically posing for us and looking adorable.


A lot of people (including me!) were wondering about the streaks of yellow in the water, and our guide reassured us that it was the pollen being blown into the water instead of pollution.


After the tour, we decided to stop for a bit and do a little hiking. We ended up on one of the least attractive paths, no where near the water, but it still ended up being beautiful.


The park isn’t landscaped at all, so when trees die, they’re just left wherever they’ve fallen and it makes for some beautiful scenes.