Crater Lake National Park

After Christmas, Bae and I decided to take a little trip down to Sisters, OR and spend a few days at 5 Pines Lodge as our Christmas gift to each other. It was a perfect little lodge equipped with a movie theater, brewery, legit fitness center, and even had a cocktail happy hour each day from 5-6. Needless to say, we were in heaven. Oh, and did I mention snow? It had a lot of snow, and seeing as Seattle was sort of lacking in that area (as usual) it was quite a treat for us. It was the perfect relaxing getaway right after Christmas, and before things started to get hectic again.

We enjoyed daily walks into the downtown area of Sisters, home of Sisters Coffee Company, which was delicious. There were also many other little shops and businesses to check out. Really a great little town to stop by and check out if you’re in Central Oregon.

Knowing that we were well over halfway to Crater Lake National Park from Seattle, we decided we should go ahead and make the trip! It was only a 2.5 hour drive away, so we figured, why not?! Well, it is technically a 2.5 hour drive in sunny and dry conditions. Unfortunately for us, we made a small detour in Bend trying to get gas (hand up, that’s on me. I may have ignored road signs and taken us on a major detour that alone added 15 minutes, but then also got us stuck behind a snow plow for the next 45 minutes), and the trip was more like 3.5-4 hours due to snow conditions. When we arrived I was running around like a madman (cause fundido) trying to figure out just exactly where we were supposed to meet for our noon snow-shoe tour that I signed us up for. I finally figured it out, it was the first place I started at (naturally). What’s important is that we were there and on time ready to go on a tour!


Our obligatory photo at the Park Entrance

This was both of our first times snow-shoeing and it was a blast! Very easy and nothing to it. Just a great way to venture into the snow and have some much added grip when walking!

This is a really great feature that the park offers. You can go to their website and call and request your spot on free ranger-led scheduled snowshoe tour! Ranger Rick was a great tour guide for us and took us through the forest, without a structured plan, just based off of his knowledge of the area.

As we took off on our journey, it felt like we were tackling a blizzard! It was extremely cold and windy and snow was flurrying every where. I make it sound miserable, but it was actually a lot of fun. It make the experience that much more worth it.

Along the way, Ranger Rick gave us some cool facts about Crater Lake, like the fact that it was actually formed when Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed about 7,700 years ago. We sneaky learned a lot on tour, while burning some good calories trudging through the snow! For example, Crater Lake gets about 44 FEET of snow every year. One might ask, “when the snow melts, how come the lake doesn’t keep rising and go over the rim’s edge and flood the forest?” To that I would answer “cause there’s obviously a leak some where, duh!” And that happens to be the case! Anyway, we had a great time on our tour (minus being stuck with some slow-pokes and complainers on the adventure), we would highly recommend it.

After venturing through the forest, Ranger Rick took us near the rim’s edge and we were just barely able to see the lake and Wizard Island in the middle(ish) portion of the lake.

After our snow-shoe tour came to a close, we poked around the gift shop and cafe and picked up some very warm soup, coffee, and an ornament for our christmas tree (we got this thing going where we get ornaments from places we’ve been). After that, it was just about closing time for the park so we figured it was best we scoot! The drive home wasn’t so bad, I almost forgot, we had Sarah Koenig keeping us company most of the ride as well, so it all went pretty fast 😉

Overall, it was a great day spent adventuring and taking in some great snowy sights. And you better believe we’ll be back in the summer to check out the lake in all it’s glory in the heat! After all, we still gotta drive around the lake and check out all the viewpoints!


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