Since moving to California, we have attempted to go to Crater Lake multiple times. It is only about 6.5 hours away, but we have always had to cancel due to weather or inability to get enough time off to go. Our parents were in town last week and we were able to get the day off on Friday, so we had a four-day weekend to enjoy. We spent Wednesday night in Klamath Falls, then got up early on Thursday to head up to the lake. It was SPECTACULAR.
I was worried that it would be a madhouse because of the holiday, but there were very few people there during the morning. Parts of the East Rim road were still closed, but we were able to enjoy almost all of the viewpoints around the lake. I could not get over how blue the water was. The lake was formed about 7,700 years ago when the volcano (Mount Mazama) collapsed. Because no rivers or tributaries flow in or out of the lake, it has very little sediment or pollutants which allows it to be so clear and blue. It is also the deepest lake in the United States.
We spent about five hours driving around the lake, and it was too pretty for words. We were supposed to spend the night at the Mazama Campground at the lake, but all reservations were cancelled last minute due to tree removal. We got a last minute reservation at a campground outside of Crescent City in the redwoods.