Crater Lake National Park, OR

June 13, 2016

Crater Lake is a caldera lake in the western United States, located in south-central Oregon.

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It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity.

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Wizard Island

The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot (655 m) deep caldera that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama

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Crater Lake

There are no rivers flowing into or out of the lake; the evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years.

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With a depth of 1,949 feet (594 m), the lake is the deepest in the United States. In the world, it ranks tenth for maximum depth, and third for mean (average) depth.

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Wizard Island

Two islands are in Crater Lake: Wizard Island, formed from a cinder cone that erupted after Crater Lake began to fill with water, and the smaller Phantom Ship, which has seven trees living on it.

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There are also colonies of violet-green swallows and several varieties of wildflowers and lichens living there

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Wildflowers

While having no indigenous fish population, the lake was stocked from 1888 to 1941 with a variety of fish. Several species have formed self-sustaining populations.

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The lake is 5 by 6 miles (8.0 by 9.7 km) across, with a caldera rim ranging in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m) and an average lake depth of 1,148 feet (350 m).

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On the basis of maximum depth, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America (after Great Slave Lake in Canada), and the tenth deepest lake in the world (Lake Baikal is the deepest).

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The winter is cold and the powerful influence of the Aleutian Low allows for enormous snowfalls averaging 488 inches (12.40 m) per year and maximum snow cover averaging 139 inches or 3.53 meters.

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Wizard Island

The Klamath tribe of Native Americans, whose ancestors may have witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and the formation of Crater Lake, have long regarded the lake as a sacred site.

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Their legends tell of a battle between the sky god Skell and the god of the underworld Llao. Mount Mazama was destroyed in the battle, creating Crater Lake, called giiwas in the Klamath language.

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Some hydrothermal activity remains along the lake floor, suggesting that at some time in the future Mazama may erupt once again.

photoDriving distance from Vancouver: 900 km (10 hours)