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August 16, 2013

Western Wanderlust // Luana at Crater Lake

Not only is Luana one of my first blogging friends, she also runs the sweetest Etsy shop, la petite lulu, where you'll find whimsical handmade items for little ones -- most made using upcycled fabrics. Be sure to visit her shop, as well as her blog! (And the photos in this post are particularly stunning.)


Crater Lake, Oregon: a destination I had never heard of until my husband and I decided we needed a last minute mini summer road trip and started researching places that sounded interesting on a map. After falling in love with Lake Tahoe last summer, I had high hopes for other lakes on the western side of this beautiful country and Crater Lake certainly didn’t disappoint.

Crater Lake is known for its water being a ridiculously deep shade of blue, a colour that is made even more spectacular when contrasted with its snow capped, caldera rim. Being the middle of summer, I certainly didn’t expect to come across snow in this region but as soon as we entered the national park, the temperature dropped significantly. Given that most of the west was in the midst of a major heat wave, this was a huge shock and I only wish I had been more prepared and brought a decent jumper with me!

As the shoreline isn’t easily accessed - there’s only one steep trail that is open a short time of the year, the best way to see Crater Lake is by taking the scenic rim drive. The drive has many scenic viewpoints where you can park and enjoy the view and if you start early enough in the morning, you might even have the drive to yourself, like we did. Even with stops, the rim drive can easily be done in half a day which makes Crater Lake an easy day trip from neighbouring Oregon destinations. Had we been more organised, I would have loved to spent the night at the Crater Lake Lodge - right at the top of the caldera, it offered stunning views of the lake, but it’s one of those places that seems to book out a year in advance.

There is more to Crater Lake however than just the rim drive. Although we didn’t have time to do it ourselves, hiking trails were plentiful and offered both gentle walks and more intense all day hikes. The valley just inland of the lake was lush and green, the landscape dotted with waterfalls and the volcanic pinnacles were spectacular.

It’s hard to imagine how a visit to Crater Lake could ever be disappointing; the scenery here truly is postcard perfect. If you’re thinking about traveling to southern Oregon, Crater Lake is a must!

My top 3 tips for visiting Crater Lake:

1. Be prepared for cool weather. Even in the middle of summer, the temperature maxed out around 65 degrees and was even cooler in the wind.
2. Bring insect repellant - and plenty of it! The mozzies were out in full force on one side of the lake, making getting out of the car slightly unappealing at times.
3. Pack a lunch. The lodge has a cafeteria but to be blunt, the food is pretty awful and extremely overpriced. The lodge does have outdoor picnic tables for use or there are plenty of viewpoints where you could pack a picnic rug and enjoy your own lunch in the great outdoors.


  1. Thanks for having me Katie - loving this series!

  2. Thanks for doing this series. I've spent pretty much zero time out on the Western side of our country and I love getting some good travel ideas. I definitely hope to see more for myself real soon... Thanks for sharing Luana!

    1. Awesome! I'm so glad you're enjoying it, Shannon!

  3. Wow..amazing view.Everyone wants to travel. So this is the best option who want to see the beauty of nature.This is a great job. Keep doing this.