Monday, November 1, 2010

Crater Lake National Park

Monday - Nov. 1st, 2010

Happy Birthday, John! When John was in the 4th grade, one of his classmates did a show and tell on their family vacation to Crater Lake. He thought it looked really cool and always wanted to see it, so it was a great way to spend his birthday. Behind the tall pine tree is Wizard Island, a mini volcano and crater, which the lake was named after.

Teddy Roosevelt created Crater Lake National Park in 1905. It is the only national park in Oregon. It was formed 7,700 years ago when 12,000 ft. Mt. Mazama erupted and collapsed in on itself. It was probably the largest eruption in North America in the last 640,000 years, 42 times greater than the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption. The ash deposits were 70 to 300 feet deep. The lake has since filled with 4.6 trillion gallons of water from the average 533 inches of snowfall. They have had 50 inches already this fall.

The north rim is only open from early July to late October. During that time, you can drive, bike or hike the 33 mile rim with over 30 scenic overlooks. It is the deepest lake in the country and the 7th deepest in the world. The lake is 6 miles wide and 1943 ft. deep with one path down to the lake's surface. It is 1,000 ft. below the rim and a dusty 1.1 mile, two hour round trip hike. 400,000 people visit every year.

Late October is a great time to visit to avoid the crowds. In April they start clearing the snow from the North Rim Road. The drifts are 20 to 60 feet deep. Clearing 30' high by 30' wide, they get about one quarter mile each day (approx. 1.8 million cu. ft.) in order to get the road opened by early July.

Mt. Thielsen.

Diamond Lake named after Jim Diamond, a prominent Oregon pioneer, who discovered it in 1852.

We took North Umpqua Scenic Byway from Roseburg up to Crater Lake. Along the way, there are 24 waterfalls near the highway or a short hike away. What a beautiful drive, especially in October. The North Umpqua River Trail is 79 miles long. This is Clearwater Falls, a 30 foot, segmented falls.

This is Whitehorse Falls, a 15 foot punch bowl falls.

At 272 feet, Watson Falls is one of the tallest in Southern Oregon. It is a plunge falls. It was a half mile hike uphill (path and steps) to this platform for a view of the upper half of the falls.

This is another view from a little further down the trail.

This is Toketee Falls, pronounced like rockety, and means pretty or graceful. It is a 120 foot, tiered falls. It is a half mile hike with 200 steps.

A closer view of Toketee Falls. All of the falls were magnificent and awe inspiring. I highly recommend this scenic drive to Crater Lake and all the hikes up to the different falls.

Half century old redwood aqueduct springing leaks and spraying water out, still channels water to the Toketee Hydroelectric Generator Plant. We ran out of daylight for hiking trails to the falls.

Our last stop on the way back to Roseburg was the Colliding Rivers at Glide. It is a unique geologic phenomenon where the North Umpqua and Little River collide. In the 1955 flood, the North Umpqua actually pushed the Little River back up it's channel 100 feet.

It gets warmer every day as we head further south.
It will soon be time to break out the shorts.

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