Travel – Crater Lake and The Marble Hall Caves
I had a memorable experience of visiting Crater Lake with my son in the early 1990s. The American National Park Service describe it as ‘deep water in a sleeping volcano’. Formed 7700 years ago by a violent eruption which triggered the collapse of a small peak, it is a 1949 feet deep caldera fed by snow and rain. It is much photographed for its stunning blue water and dramatic setting, and the water is said to be the purest in USA.
Crater Lake is situated in the western coastal state of Oregon which is remote and rugged forested terrain. I remember seeing an eagle nesting on top of a telegraph pole, a special sighting for a British person. We camped near the lake and took a boat ride around the caldera, visiting Wizzard Island, the volcanic plug in the middle. There is a varying drop of between 700 and 900 feet to the lake shore and you have to walk the mile-long Cleetwood Cove Trail to the dock. There is a scenic rim drive or trolley tour as well.
On the way to Crater Lake National Park, we stopped off at the Oregon Marble Hall Caves, which were created by slightly acidic rainfall leaching down through ancient forests and peaks of the Siskiyou Mountains over thousands of years to erode the limestone. The limestone was then metamorphosed into marble. It was my first and only time that I have seen stalactites and stalagmites – in a magnificent underground cavern.
For more information and photographs, you can visit the websites for Crater Lake Nation Park and the Marble Hall Caves National Monument.