Crater Lake – Oregon, USA

This is Crater Lake, South Central Oregon, USA. An abounding beauty of nature on the crest of the Cascade Mountain Range, 160 kilometers east of the Pacific Coast. Best known for its intense and indescribable deep blue color, water clarity, depth and grand design. Crater Lake earned the title of the number one most beautiful lake in the world; with exceptional features being the deepest lake in the United States, the seventh deepest lake in the world and the largest known eruption from Cascade Range volcanoes.

Before Crater Lake became what it is today, a cluster of ancient volcanoes called Mount Mazama dominated the landscape. The caldera was formed around 7,700 years ago after a large volcanic explosion destroyed Mt. Mazama. The 2,500 to 3,500 feet mountain peak fell into the volcano's partially emptied neck and magma chamber, that led to the formation of a new crater, known as Crater Lake. But before it got its new name, Crater Lake was formerly known as Blue Lake or Lake Majesty.

The name “Crater Lake” was coined by James Sutton, editor of the Oregon Sentinel in Jacksonville, in 1869 for its beautiful and symmetrical crater. But the world greatly owes its gratefulness to William Gladstone Steel, for devoting more than 30 years of his life promoting and establishing the park known as Crater Lake National Park, featuring the blue gem of the Oregon, Crater Lake. In 1902, President Roosevelt signed legislation making Crater Lake and its surrounding 180,000 acres as America's 6th National Park -- the only National Park in Oregon.

Lying in the waters at the west end of Crater Lake is a small volcanic island known as Wizard Island which is a cone of the new volcano which projects 755 feet above the average surface of the lake. The Wizard Island is the cinder cone that formed in Crater Lake. However, there is a second island. It's called the Merriam Cone. The Merriam Cone is another cinder cone located on the northeast part of the lake. Its surface features and lack of a crater (compared to the Wizard Island) suggest that it formed under water.

The last recorded eruption of Crater Lake was about 2290 BC +/- 300 years, it is considered dormant. And although it has been dormant for 5,000 years, geologists do expect it to reawaken someday.

Volcanoes in general can be exciting and fascinating, but also very dangerous. With all its superlative qualities, the sight of Crater lake will take your breath away... but also beware a “calm beauty” with a violent volcanic past.


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