Day 693 – Up at the Crater
In many ways Crater Lake is the Niagara Falls of Oregon. Undeniably striking, one can visit a hundred times and the first glimpse from the rim drive still evokes a sense of awe. This old-school one-trick-pony National Park remains a favorite destination. A high point of this latest trip was the look of happy surprise on the Ranger’s face at the main entrance when we asked if we could re-do our annual pass. I can only imagine how many people bitch at the $10 entrance fee. When i inquired “can we renew our annual?” the response of “sure! i’ve got those here” was a bonus.
Like Niagara Falls, once you’ve seen the main attraction you’re kinda done. Unlike Niagara Falls, Crater Lake’s remote location and snow-laden climate, along with assiduous land management, has prevented the growth of parasitic businesses all too often infecting natural wonders. This doesn’t mean visitors are spared the $9.75 ham & cheese sandwich at the lodge, but at least there’s no wax museum.
Visiting in fall is generally best. Time it before the snow begins to fly, try to hit the major sights before noon and you’ll be rewarded with magnificently vivid photo opportunities and a minimum of annoying background chatter.