We left the Tacoma area with our ultimate destination of Albuquerque, NM. We started with that and looked at the most direct route. However, our routes they are rarely a direct route from Point A to Point B. We looked at locations along the way that would be interesting to visit. That often changes the route into something much less direct, but more interesting. This is how we decided to visit Crater Lake National Park. National Parks are always places we look to visit on our travels.
Crater Lake is exactly what its name implies. It is the crater formed by an erupting volcano The vent is closed and the crater filled with water. In fact, it filled with enough water to make it the deepest lake in the U.S.
There were no sites available in the National Park campgrounds so we stayed at Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect, OR. This is a nice park that is big rig friendly and has full hook up sites. There is a mix of transient campers like us and seasonal campers. The staff was very friendly and helpful. As we were setting up our neighbors were sitting outside and we introduced ourselves. In our conversation they mentioned that the Rim Road was going to be closed on the next day for the annual bicycle “Ride the Rim” event. They were planning on riding it and we went online to see if that was something that would interest us. The bottom line of our research was that the ride would be much too demanding for our level of cycling. Consequently we decided to drive into the park for what was left of the day and drive the Rim Road. We stopped several times to explore the lake from different viewpoints. I found it surprising how each stop gave us a unique view. By the time we got to the last viewpoint it was getting close to evening and the temperature was definitely falling. It was good to get back to our trailer.
There is more to see in the area than Crater Lake and we took the next day to explore some of those other sites. Our first stop was Flounce Rock. This is the highest summit in the area. We drove most of the way (Thank goodness for having a high clearance, four-wheel drive truck) and hiked the short remaining distance. What a view! We could see all the way to Mount Shasta in California! I picked up a geocache that was related to a memorial on the mountain top.
After that we hiked to a series of waterfalls in the area. It made for a pleasant day and we ate lunch while looking at the Mill Creek Falls.
When we got back we talked with our neighbors about the bike ride around the rim. They said they enjoyed it but it was sort of painful with the big changes in elevation along the road. After talking with them we were glad that we passed on that opportunity.
On Sunday, September 22nd, we hooked up and headed for Death Valley.