Crater Lake is a situated in the crater of the
extinct volcano of Mount Mazama.
The lake partially fills a volcanic caldera. about 1,220 meters
deep that was formed about 6,850 years ago by the sinking of the
Mazama volcano. The lake was also known as
a Majestic Lake or a Blue Lake by the first European settlers in
the area. The Klamath tribe of Native Americans that lived near
the Crater Lake National Park considered the site as sacred.
They believed that the lake in the crater was formed after the
battle between Llao, the god of the underworld, and Skell, the
god of the skies. Many Klamath people came here in their vision
quests hoping to get some spiritual knowledge. This tradition is
still practiced to some extent by the locals.
The first American of European origin known to
have reached the lake was John Wesley Hillman, who saw it on June
12, 1853, and called it Deep Blue Lake. Crater lake has been renamed
at least three times under the names of Blue Lake, Lake Majesty and
finally Crater Lake.
Crater Lake is known for its famous
piece of driftwood called "Old Man of the Lake" ("Old Man of the
Lake"). It is a normal-sized tree that had been in a vertical
position for more than a century, and due to the low water
temperature, the tree remained in relatively good condition.
Although the lake did not have the presence of native fish, between
1888 and 1941 it was populated with a variety of species, some of
which have managed to establish a population. Specifically, four
species have been identified. The Oregon State Quarters Memorial,
coined by the United States Mint in 2005, shows an image of Crater
Lake on its reverse.
Fees and permits
The entry fee for cars is $10 for seven days.
Motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are $5 per person for seven
There are several passes for groups traveling together
in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes
provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges,
and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and
grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management
and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national
parks including Crater Lake National Park:
The $80 Annual
Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased
by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in
person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card
(CAC) or Military ID. U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62
or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder)
in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail
for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and
age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park
amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass. U.S.
citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can
obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person
at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for
$10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and
permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent
discount on some park amenities. Individuals who have volunteered
250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the
Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass. 4th
graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry
for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to
the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private
non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park
website is required. In 2018 the National Park Service will offer
four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15
(Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week),
September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans