Crater Lake of Oregon is possibly the most beautiful crater lake in the world, as well as the deepest lake in the United States. Formed by the collapse of Mount Mazama in prehistoric times, it is a stand alone lake, fed only by precipitation. One of the most popular natural sites in Oregon, it is the namesake attraction of Crater Lake National Park.
Of every major national park in the United States, Crater Lake may have the most amazing history. Formed when a volcano collapsed sometime in the 6th millennium BC, the event was witnessed by native tribes, and the legend passed down orally from generation to generation. This makes Crater Lake one of the only great natural sites to have been formed in living memory in North America. The first westerners to disover the crater were some gold miners who stumbled upon it in 1853. It became the centerpiece of a national park in 1902.
Crater Lake is a geological wonder. Nearly perfectly round in shape, it is a little over four miles in diameter and 1,943 feet deep. It is maintained exclusively by rain and snow. Features of the lake include two surface islands and a strange tree in the water that has been there for over a century. The fish population in the lake was introduced by humans in the 19th and 20th century.
Crater Lake is part of Crater Lake National Park, which is home to several other dead volcanoes, pristine forests and a wide variety of wildlife. Although it is off the beaten path, it is an extremely popular destination for visitors from Oregon and Northern California. Web: www.nps.gov/crla (official website).