Crater Lake and the South Umpqua River

Crater Lake 1

Crater Lake is truly one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the color of the water and the geography of the lake and surrounding area can’t be expressed in words or photos, it is just one of those sights that you have to see in person in order to really appreciate its majesty.  Even in the heat of August, it was a cool and breezy 60 degrees mid-day, and positively chilly jacket weather in the morning.  I got up at 6am to watch the sun rise – probably the most peaceful setting I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

Crater Lake 2

Crater Lake 3

The girls, however, were much more excited about the chipmunks who would eat potato chips from their hands – ah, nature!

Crater Lake 4

We traveled to Crater Lake along the Umpqua River, which has an almost innumerable number of hikes, most short walks (albeit uphill) to waterfalls.  We stayed the night at Steamboat Inn and the folks there packed a great picnic lunch for us to enjoy between hikes.  Here are a few of the waterfalls we hiked to:

South Umpqua 1

South Umpqua 2

The waterfalls held only limited appeal for the girls – their favorite activity was climbing on the broken basalt walls below the Steamboat Inn on the shore of the South Umpqua River.  The basalt breaks off to create natural stairs, so we were able to climb all around the banks of the river.  The girls really wanted to rent a boat so that we could explore some of the “islands” in the middle of the river – I saw a raft pull-out beach a little upstream, that might be a good plan the next time we visit.

South Umpqua 3

South Umpqua 4

We had this area of the river all to ourselves, even during August travel season, and most of the hikes were largely deserted, as well.  I like knowing that even in this day and age, it’s possible to find a little peace and quiet in the woods and along a river.

South Umpqua 5

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