We headed to Crater Lake yesterday from our neighborhood in Ashland. We had planned to stay near Crater Lake but Verizon’s coverage isn’t strong enough for our internet needs so we took a day trip instead. When we arrived at the park we realized that only the East Rim was semi open due to all of the snow that is still on the ground. This is pretty mind boggling given the temperatures were in the mid 80’s.
There were a few different places you could pull of the road to view the lake from a “view point”. Those were crowded and so we looked for a way to get behind the scenes and see the lake with fewer folks.
The park ranger passed on some information that if you hiked in roughly 4.5 miles up the road that takes you to the East Rim you can then hike down Cleetwood Cove Trail which leads you to the shore of the lake. The hike was straight up the paved road so we decided to utilize our bicycles for this trek.
As we were biking to the trail head, we climbed an initial steep hill and then just cruised the rest of the way. This is always an good indicator that the ride back is going to be a real booger.
I am pretty sure we would have missed the trail head if it hadn’t been for a family standing off to the side of the road near it. It was tucked away and not very visible from the road. We stashed our bikes behind some trees and took off down a few switch backs towards the lake shore. All of the switch backs were bringing back scary memories. As we were hiking down, Mr. TCP said “this isn’t too steep”. Ha! He wasn’t saying the same thing on the way back up.
The hike down to the shore was 1.1 miles so it didn’t take much time to reach the bottom in which we were greeted by crystal clear blue water. The lake reminded me of the Amalfi coast with its deep blue yet crystal clear water.
We passed the cutest little forest animal on our way down and Mr. TCP just about put him in his pocket to bring him home with us.
There was a rock you could jump off of which was calling the misters name but he thought better of it since neither of us were equipped with swimming attire. And that water was FREEZING COLD. It would have been a polar plunge.
Again, we were amazed at the beauty of another National Park.