Over Labor Day weekend I went camping in Crater Lake with my sister and parents. We left the Wednesday night before the weekend and stopped in Portland and boon-docked in a Walmart parking lot for the night before continuing down. As we were driving past Salem we made a last minute decision to stop and tour the capitol building since none of us had been there before. I loved the tree lined park and fountains in front of it, it was so pretty. The tour itself was not very interesting to me, but we were able to climb to the top of the cupola and walk around on top and see the views all around the city. That was fun, I haven’t been to any others that let you do this. We also went past a really cool waterfall on the way down.
We stopped at a campsite just north of the park on Thursday night and then continued down to the park on Friday morning. We set up our campsite then drove around the lake to take the boat tour. It was so interesting to learn about the lake. The thing I found the most interesting was why the lake is so blue. In addition to being super clear, it is because it is so deep that all the other colors are absorbed into the depths of the water so blue is the only one left to reflect back. That is so crazy to me. They drove us up close to the shore and the water was so clear we could see the rocks below. They looked they were just about 10 feet down, but the Ranger said they were about 40-50 feet down. That night Rachel, dad and I went out stargazing. It was so beautiful. It was so clear the whole time we were there so we ended up going stargazing every night, although after the first night we just walked over to the amphitheater in the campground.
On Friday and Saturday we spent the day driving around the lake and going to all of the lookouts and hikes and things. We also visited the lodge, which was super cute and has the hugest fireplace, and visited the learning centers. On Sunday we felt like we had done almost everything, except for a couple of the really long hikes we didn’t feel up to doing, so we drove a little bit north of the park and along this road that had about 30 waterfalls dotted all along it. We chose a few different ones to go to and hiked to them. They were so pretty, I love waterfalls so much and I love how different and unique each one is. After that we went to the campground to make dinner, then went back out to a viewpoint to watch the sunset over the lake, which we go to just in time. It was a great weekend of campfires and s’mores, playing games, seeing the stars and sunset and enjoying the beautiful park and amazing blue color of the water. Also it was so much drier than I expected it to be for being in the Pacific Northwest.