Cruising into Crater Lake is the dream of more than one family on a summer road trip. It is easy to make this national park your only destination or to tack it onto a summer road trip around the Pacific Northwest. Set up camp in the park at one of the lodges or in the nearby town of Ashland, Oregon, where you will find great local flavor in the restaurants, cozy hotels across town and one heck of a Shakespeare festival each season. Before you head into the park though you need to be prepared. Fill up on gas, pack some snacks, research your hikes and decide if you want to take the plunge into the chilly lake water. Above all else, remember that this is a national park. Respect the land and the creatures in it; they lived here first.
Consider yourself warned. You do NOT want to run out of gas while driving around Crater Lake. Fill up outside of the park in Prospect (on OR-62 from Roseburg) or Chemult (on Hwy 97 from Oakridge). The Mazama Camper Store in Mazama Village offers gas only in the summer months. If a summer storm knocks out the power in the village, the gas pumps will not work.
Although the car ride around the rim is the easiest way to see the highlights of the park, families should remember that there is more to see than just the lake. Wild flowers, valley views and old growth forests are just a few of the highlights you can encounter when you hit the trails around the park.
Animal Sightings: Keep your eyes peeled for these critters that call the park home.
One of the best ways to see the lake is to hop on a boat tour. You can see the little white boats bobbing in the water from the rim. Stormy days make it an unimaginable adventure, but sunny summer days declare it a must-do activity for the whole family, that is if you are up for the hike down the Cleetwood trail to the docks. If you aren't up for a boat ride or just dont have the extra cash to spare, at least dip your toes in the water of the deepest lake in America. It will give your kids something to brag about to their friends back home.
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Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
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