Hemlocks, whitebark pines, and Shasta firs stand sentinel on Crater Lake's Wizard Island.
The deepest lake in the United States is also one of the most gorgeous. Enjoy some of the bluest views in the West when you cruise Rim Drive as it snakes 33 miles around the caldera (call 541-594-3000 for road and weather conditions). To appreciate the beauty up close, explore some of the park's more than 90 miles of hiking trails. From mid-July to the end of August, look for patches of scarlet paintbrush, blue stickseed, Anderson lupine, and other wildflowers that bloom during this brief growing period. If pup tents make you tense (campsites abound in and around the park), book a room at Crater Lake Lodge (541-830-8700), where the only thing that outshines the Cascadian comforts is, of course, the view.
Photography by Larry Geddis
This article was first published in July 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.