Awe-Inspiring Crater Lake Rim Overlooks Blog Header
By Emily Hunter | 07/26/2022 | Attractions, Favorite Trails, Lakes & Rivers, National Park, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Things to Do, Trails


The bluest, deepest, and purest lake in America lies in Medford’s backyard. 

Oregon’s only national park - Crater Lake is an awe-inspiring landmark formed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago. No springs or rivers feed the lake, making it pure and effortlessly still. Whether it's twinkling with the reflection of a thousand stars or glimmering with sunshine - there are several places around Crater Lake that will leave you in pure awe.

“At first when I looked at it, I couldn't believe it was real,” said Emhoff, the second gentleman of the United States. “I woke up in (Washington) D.C., and here I am in paradise”.

Crater Lake National Park, trees, forest, wizard island

This stunning overlook features a westward view of both Wizard Island and Mount Scott - the park’s highest point. Cloudcap is the highest road access at Crater Lake, making it the perfect location to take your darling little ones or those who might have trouble hiking. The views from this overlook are breathtaking, as you can see the entire bowl of the caldera from the peaks of Mount Scott. From the large, pumice rock pillars to the deep depths of the blue waters, don't miss the chance to breathe in this fabulous stop along the rim! 

This short but sweet trail offers you a big payoff for little work, with fabulous views of the lake's islands. The 0.8-mile loop is open year-round for you to enjoy, with wildflowers in bloom in the spring and summer. The trail is flat and easy for grandparents and kiddos alike, with plenty of lookouts to view the mysterious Phantom Ship. You may even spot a Bald Eagle in the trees, as they perch and watch over their home!

Looking for a moderate challengeCrater Lake’s tallest mountain calls you to climb it! Mount Scott Trail is a 4.2-mile, out-and-back trail with an elevation of 8,938 feet. At the top, you discover a rewarding view of the entire caldera of Crater Lake. The deepness of the blue waters brings a sense of peace within their beauty, as they are tranquil and still. The lovely lake calls you to trek this exciting trail, and traverse its tallest peak!

Accessible only via boat, Wizard Island is home to several incredible trails for you to explore. Feel the power and largeness of the lake as you step onto the island, surrounded by the clear, deep blue water and forestry all around you. This particular trail is 2.3-miles out and back, with an elevation gain of 751 feet to get you to the top of the island. The views are refreshing and easily make any efforts worth it, as views of the cliffs from all sides teem with natural beauty.

As you make your way along Crater Rim Drive, be sure to make a stop at Phantom Ship Overlook to get the best views of the mysterious Phantom Ship. Crater Lake’s second island, Phantom Ship is 170 feet high and 500 feet long. Its jagged appearance resembles a mystic ship with drooping sails and tall masts, resistant to the challenges at sea. This beautiful outlook is a true sight to see, with an incredible view of the lake and the best angle of Phantom Ship!

Just 1.1 miles west of Cloudcap Overlook, and 2.4 miles east of Phantom Ship Overlook lies the incredibly beautiful formation known as Pumice Castle. Measuring up to its name, the volcanic formation is an eye-catching orange and pink in the shape of a medieval palace. You quite literally can't miss it! Formed 70,000 years ago, Pumice Castle and the surrounding Redcloud Cliffs were welded by lava flow, combining their pumice and other lava rocks to create mixed formations. A sealed base of andesite lava has preserved the castle from weather elements, solidifying its pillars and its crowned rule at Crater Lake.

With easy accessibility and terrific views, this stunning waterfall is a must-see on your trip to Crater Lake. Feeding from a consistent spring near Crater Lake’s caldera rim, Videa Falls cascades 115 feet down a glacier-carved cliff before disappearing beneath the road. The falls are accessible all year round, with beautiful wildflowers in the summer and beautiful, white snow in the winter

Your visit to Crater Lake would not be complete without a trip to this sheltered, historic overlook. Opened in the summer of 1931, Sinnott’s exterior is composed of native stone, with architecture constructed to flow with the natural beauty of the lake. The memorial is also home to several exhibits and information panels, along with a brief film about the indigenous, volcanic, and scientific history of Crater Lake.

America’s deepest, bluest, purest lake, Crater Lake holds many treasures along its rim and beyond. The wonders of the lake never cease, with endless opportunities to explore its natural trails, waterfalls, outlooks and historic landmarks. No matter where you choose to explore, breathe in the magical Heart of the Rogue at Oregon's only national park!

Can't get enough adventure? Discover lovely hiking trailsbeautiful waterfalls and the world-class Rogue River - all in the Heart of the Rogue!

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