Crater Lake National Park is a national park located in southern Oregon of the United States. Established in 1902, Crater Lake is the fifth-oldest national park in the United States and the only national park in Oregon. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests.
Crater Lake National Park Estimated Location: 42.940848, -122.114540
Mount Mazama is a complex volcano where the Crater Lake sits. Most of the mountain collapsed following a major eruption approximately 7,700 years ago. The volcano is in Klamath County, in the southern Cascades, 60 miles (97 km) north of the Oregon-California border. Mount Mazama originally had an elevation of 12,000 feet (3,700 m), but following its climactic eruption, this was reduced to 8,157 feet (2,486 m). Crater Lake is 1,943 feet (592 m) deep, the deepest freshwater body in the US and the second deepest in North America after Great Slave Lake in Canada.
Volcanic activity in this area is fed by subduction off the coast of Oregon as the Juan de Fuca Plate slips below the North American Plate. Heat and compression generated by this movement has created a mountain chain topped by a series of volcanoes, which together are called the Cascade Range. The large volcanoes in the range are called the High Cascades. However, there are many other volcanoes in the range as well, most of which are much smaller.
Mammals that are residents of this national park are Canadian lynxes, bobcats, beavers, chipmunks, pronghorns, foxes, squirrels, porcupines, black bears, coyotes, pika, badgers, deer, elk, muskrats, and martens. Birds that commonly fly through this park including raptors are American dippers, Peregrine falcons, ravens, Clark’s nutcrackers, Canada jays, bald eagles, hummingbirds and spotted owls while Canada geese float on its lake.
The deep-blue Crater Lake are over 180,000 acres of forests, meadows, wetlands, and pumice fields. Together these create the canvas of Crater Lake National Park which rises from 3,990 feet in elevation to 8,926. The park supports more than 700 species of native plants that thrive, in spite of a short growing season and the challenge to survive in soils derived from porous pumice and volcanic ash.
Wildflowers are delicate splashes of color in the highest elevations but in lower elevations they grow profusely along rivers, creeks, and hillsides. The tallest trees are found along and up from the park boundary while the oldest trees hug the caldera rim. Rare plant species of conservation concern are protected throughout this diverse canvas.
The introduction and spread of invasive plant species is an ongoing threat to the Park’s biodiversity. Through re-vegetation and management of invasive species, park botanists are restoring disturbed areas back to their natural condition.
Wizard Island was created after Mount Mazama, a large complex volcano, erupted violently approximately 7,700 years ago, forming its caldera which now contains Crater Lake. Following the cataclysmic caldera-forming eruption, which left a hole about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) deep where the mountain had once stood, a series of smaller eruptions over the next several hundred years formed several cinder cones on the caldera floor. The highest of these cones, the only one to rise above the current lake level, is Wizard Island, which rises over 2,700 feet (820 m) above the lowest point on the caldera floor and the deepest point in the lake.
Below are the rest of the images taken from Crater Lake National Park.
Images property of Chromoscience.