Crater Lake

An Army Corps of Engineers worker at Crater Lake warned in November 1915 that tourists should expect to see lots of bears by spring time.

In 1876, a small party started out on horseback to see that magnificent lake high in the Cascades some were beginning to call Crater Lake.

When the U.S. Mint asked Gov. Ted Kulongoski to come up with something to serve as an iconic image of the state, he took his wife’s advice.

A Snow Carnival at the south boundary of Crater Lake attracted thousands in the 1920’s and 30’s.  The Crater Lake Ski Club, Pelican Club and other Klamath community organizations helped sponsor the event.  Activities included snowballing, snow races, toboggan and sleigh rides, barefoot races, sled dog races, ski jumping and a homing pigeon race.

Digging Human History Out Of Umpqua Ash

Sep 8, 2016
Crater Lake Institute

Crater Lake is pretty and placid now, but it was born of violence: the eruption of what we call Mount Mazama. 

People lived in the region back then, and evidence of their habitation was buried under volcanic ash in Western Oregon valleys. 

University of Oregon researcher Brian O'Neill has been digging under the ash, uncovering clues to the people who lived in the land when Mazama was just a tall mountain. 

Music To Celebrate Oregon's Crown Jewel

Jul 26, 2016
Gifford Photographic Collection

Natural history and the arts collide when the Britt Festivals Orchestra plays at Crater Lake later this week (July 29-30). 

A portion of the orchestra, plus student ensemble, plus chorus, perform a new work called "Natural History." 

The piece is commissioned by Britt and composed by Michael Gordon. 

Perhaps you’ve seen it, a sharp, bright black-and-white image of Crater Lake, the heavily clouded sky reflected in the water below.  It is one of three photographs taken by pioneer photographer Peter Britt on Aug. 13, 1874. Crater Lake historians Larry and Lloyd Smith described the scene: “The Britt Party has been camping at the Rim for days.  Britt is ready to give up and leave without a photograph when suddenly the clouds part, the sun shines through and the first photograph ever of Crater Lake is taken.”

Visitors And Snowpack Up At Crater Lake

Feb 5, 2016
Crater Lake webcam

Crater Lake enjoyed a banner 2015, and 2016 is off to a flying start, at least in some respects. 

The 664,000 visitors last year represents a 25-year high.  But what's good for visits is not necessarily good for the environment: low snow made it easier to get to the park, Oregon's only national park. 

So far, this year is the opposite: snow so deep the road to the rim has been closed for several stretches. 

Mike Doukas/US Geological Survey

There's no place on the planet quite like Crater Lake, and some of the people who love it want to give it more protection. 

So Oregon Wild proposes a large (500,000+ acres) expansion of wilderness areas in federal forest land outside the national park boundary. 

These would be added onto existing wilderness areas, providing some connections between what are now wilderness islands. 

Environmental groups are enthusiastic, and some other entities are NOT. 

An Oregon Wild rep joins us with the case for the wilderness expansion, followed by Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams

Crayfish And Crater Lake Don't Mix

Jan 25, 2016
Plane777/Wikimedia

Crater Lake is basking in its winter magnificence.  There's been so much snow this winter, the rim of the lake has been unreachable by car for extended periods. 

And below the surface of the lake, an unwelcome creature lurks: the crayfish. 

Crayfish were introduced to Crater Lake a century ago as part of a fish-stocking program. 

They've come to rule the roost, at the expense of native inhabitants like the Mazama newt. 

Southern Oregon Historical Society

We often refer to a camping trip as "roughing it."

But a perusal of camping in the old days gives a whole new meaning to the term "rough." 

Our ancestors who wanted to spend time at Crater Lake had to plan on a long, dusty journey, and a primitive existence while in the park. 

Historian and Park Service volunteer Larry Smith presents a program on camping at Crater Lake at the Southern Oregon Historical Society center in Medford on Saturday. 

Federal Shutdown Frustrates Crater Lake Visitors

Oct 2, 2013
Gifford Photographic Collection

Crater Lake National Park is closed due to the federal government shutdown—opening up problems for visitors from across the country and across the globe.

From the Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Devan Schwartz reports.

Gifford Photographic Collection

Who would NOT want to work at Crater Lake, high in the mountains, next to the deepest (and bluest) lake in the country? 

John Sollinger gets to the join the small club of people who work at Oregon's only national park.