Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crater Lake National Park and Collier Memorial State Park

October 15-16, Collier Memorial State Park Chiloquin, Oregon.
We got a late start on our travel day to Collier Memorial State Park from Casey's Riverside RV Park. However, we only had just over 100 miles to travel. 
Once on the road we continued to enjoy the fall forest colors and the good relatively smooth roads. We did however unexpectedly climb over a small 5K foot pass.
Willamette Pass (5,128 ft/1,563 m) is a mountain pass crossing the crest of the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Oregon. The pass is traversed by Oregon Route 58. The Willamette Pass Resort ski area is located at the pass.

Our destination today was Collier Memorial State Park in Chiloquin, Oregon. This area of Oregon is relatively undeveloped and we later discovered groceries and fuel were hard to find. However, it would serve as a good base camp for a trip to Crater Lake N.P.
Upon arrival at the state park, we picked our own site and self-registered. The sites are first come first serve and in this off-season only $17 for full hook-ups including 50 amps. However, with our "extra vehicle" we had to pay an additional $5. Again, I don't think it's right to be charged more if it fits on our site. But, it is what it is. We took site B4 and Paul and Paula took B6.

We chose these two sites because we had a clear shot over the river in the back of us to the South sky for our satellite dish. There is no digital over the air television reception. All the sites are paved and back-ins with the exception of the curved pull-throughs like the one below.

We arrived on a Saturday so the park was busier than we expected for this late in the season. We were perhaps the longest rigs in the park and I had some difficulty maneuvering into my spot due to the proximity of the trees. The weather was fabulous and for a while I was tempted to put on shorts but, that quickly faded along with the sun. Paul and I explored on bikes the trail along the river behind our rigs and the logging camp museum on the park property. 

The next morning, we woke to cool temps and got a late morning start for our trip to Crater Lake National Park about 40 miles away. As we drove to the park we gained altitude and the weather became cloudy, then rainy and sleeting. We used our "Volunteer Pass" and didn't have to pay the $10 entrance fee. We made a quick visit to the visitor center before continuing our drive up the steep switchbacks to the crater rim @ 7000 ft. We posed for pictures at the first turnout between rain drops. The temperature was in the upper 40's!

Joyce and I

Paula and Paul
We came across the Lodge on the Crater rim and decided to get out of the weather and enjoyed some hot chocolate next to the huge fireplace inside. The lodge actually closed for the season the next day. The weather cleared a bit as we continued our exploration. We drove 33 miles around the rim as the roads were all open. This is not always the case this time of year. In fact there was evidence of recent snow fall.

Wizard Island

Storm Clouds over Crater Lake

The Sun peaking through.

More storm clouds on the lake.
The sun finally appeared for a short while and we were able to see the famous deep blue waters of Crater Lake below.

Okay some facts about the park from Wikipedia:
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon, whose primary feature is Crater Lake. This National Park was established on May 22, 1902, and it is the sixth oldest National Park in the U.S. This park encompasses the Crater Lake caldera, which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano (eventually named Mount Mazama) and the surrounding forestland and hills. This is the only National Park in Oregon.
The lake is 1,949 feet (594 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. However, when comparing its average depth of 1,148 feet (350 m) to the average depth of other deep lakes, Crater Lake becomes the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world. The impressive average depth of this volcanic lake is due to the nearly symmetrical 4,000-foot (1,200 m) deep caldera formed 7,700 years ago during the violent climactic eruptions and subsequent collapse of Mt. Mazama and the relatively moist climate that is typical of the crest of the Cascade Mountains.
The caldera rim ranges in elevation from 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 m). The United States Geological Survey benchmarked elevation of the lake surface itself is 6,178 feet (1,883 m). This National Park encompasses 183,225 acres (286.29 sq mi; 741.49 km2). Crater Lake has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake's water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.
We enjoyed our visit to Crater Lake National Park even though the weather wasn't ideal, it did change from time to time and location around the park. We were surprised that we didn't see any wildlife as we drove around the lake. We brought our gear to do a hike in the park but the weather didn't cooperate. There weren't many visitors probably due to the late season and weather. We all felt that our one day visit was sufficient. Back home the weather was perfect and we enjoyed a relaxing evening.
The following morning on the 17th we awoke to morning temps of 29 degrees overnight. Paul and Paula's water hook-up froze overnight but we were fortunate. We got packed up and hitched up by 9:30 and hit the road after carefully pulling out of our sites. Our next destination was 200 miles away in Susanville, California.


  1. Nice travelog today. Love Crate Lake!

  2. I know its been a long time since you were in Oregon, but I wanted to thank you for the information on Collier State Park. I live in Bend, OR and my wife and I will be taking our travel trailer to Collier State Park this summer. This will be our base camp for exploring Crater Lake. We reserved site B4 based on your pictures and information.