Mike Chowla

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake has brilliant blue water and an incredibly picturesque setting. Crater lake is both beautiful and unlike anywhere else I've been. It's uniqueness stems from how it was formed. The crater is actually a collapsed volcano and technically should be called a caldera. Mount Mazama used to be 12,000 feet high but collapsed in an eruption around 7,700 years forming the caldera we see today.

The lake is only fed by precipitation and that accounts for its exceptional clarity. The cone in the lake, known as Wizard Island, is a volcano in a volcano. It was formed by volcanic activity after the collapse.

We visited over the July 4th weekend. The unusually heavy winter snows meant there was still much snow on the ground. Portions of the rim road were still closed and many trails had yet to open. The snow added to the beauty and I hope to visit again in the winter.