About Crater Lake
Crater Lake is the seventh deepest lake in the world, formed thousands of years ago by the eruption and subsequent collapse of the volcano known as Mt. Mazama. It is roughly 5 miles in diameter and 1,958 feet deep. The lake is famed for the purity of its water and its deep blue color.
Crater Lake was the accidental discovery of John Wesley Hillman who was searching for a lost mine when he found himself at the edge of the caldera overlooking the lake on June 12, 1853. It became the America's 5th National Park on May 22, 1902 with an area of 183,224 acres and received 417,992 visits in 1999.
The lake is surrounded by the cliffs of the caldera wall which stand 1000 feet above the surface of the water on the average. The edge of the lake can only be reached by the Cleetwood Trail, a 2 mile hike dropping about 700 feet from a lower part of the rim. The Rim Drive circles the lake close to the rim and offers a comprehensive overview of the lake.
After the collapse of the volcano and the formation of the lake, a smaller volcano erupted inside the lake and formed Wizard Island, a volcano in lake in a volcano. A boat trip to the Island is available.
For More Information:
See the National Park Service's official Crater Lake National Park site, or Wikipedia's Crater Lake National Park article.