Crater Lake National Park – Down by the Water

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So blue, so clean, so cold…

Cleetwood Cove Crater Lake National Park Oregon
Look at that water – Cleetwood Cove far below!
Blue Water Crater Lake National Park Cleetwood Cove
Clear, clean and so blue!
Cleetwood Cove Crater Lake NP
Cleetwood Cove
Cleetwood Cove lakeside Crater Lake National Park
Cleetwood Cove lakeside

To gain access to the lake you need to take the Cleetwood Cove trail. It starts at the northern end of the Crater Lake National Park East Rim Drive.  Be sure to stop somewhere before the trail though to take in the view above Cleetwood Cove.

Cleetwood Cove Crater Lake National Park
Cleetwood Cove

Now it’s pretty easy-going down the switch back trail but be aware its steep and can be strenuous on the way back up, especially if the day is hot (an elderly lady was subject to an emergency rescue while I was there. The park rangers had to wheel her out on a special trolley all the way from the bottom back up the steep trail!). Apparently in 1.7km / 1.1 miles the trail drops 213 metres / 700 feet in elevation and hiking back up is the equivalent to climbing up 65 flights of stairs!

Cleetwood Cove Trail Crater Lake National Park Oregon
Cleetwood Cove Trail
Chipmunk Cleetwood Cove Crater Lake National Park
I didn’t see a lot of variety of wildlife in Crater Lake National Park but I did see Chipmunks all over the place, even at the lakes edge!
Cleetwood Cove Trail Crater Lake NP
Cleetwood Cove Trail

The hike is well worth it though as the lake is stunning and it is great to get down close to it. For those brave enough to go for a swim in that deep lake, the average water temperature in the middle of summer is 15 C / 59 F. I put my hand in the water and it felt much, much colder! Despite being hot and dusty, there was no way I was going for a swim but plenty of people were jumping off the rocks into the water!

Crater Lake National Park Cliff Jump
A leap of faith!

The trail is normally open from mid-June to late October but in 2016 it closed early in mid-August for trail maintenance. Boat tours go from down there too but I was nowhere near organised enough to book ahead!

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