Astoria Bridge and Crater Lake National Park: USA 2017

As we made our way south through Washington state we stopped by Long Beach to discover a kite festival going on!

Long Beach, WA
Kite festival at Long Beach, WA.

A brief stop here for ice-cream then south to Oregon via the Astoria–Megler Bridge. This bridge spans the lower Columbia River stretching 4.1 miles from Point Ellice, Washington to Astoria, Oregon. It’s epic. Once in Oregon we made a brief top at the Astoria Column, which is very ornately decorated. Unfortunately we couldn’t see the view, thick fog & drizzle had set in so our $5 wasn’t well spent really.

One discovery we made on our journey south was at Jewell, which had wildlife viewing parking bays along the road to watch the Elk. Lovely to see in the early evening.

Elk at Jewell.
Elk at Jewell.

After a brief stop at Albany our aim was Crater Lake National Park via Highway 58. There was stunning scenery on this drive, but nothing prepared us for the main thing – the previous night the area had had a dusting of snow which made the trees and the area around Crater Lake truly beautiful. The lake itself on first views was awesome.

Based in the Cascade Mountains, Crater lake is surrounded by cliffs and only fed by rain and snow. Resting in the belly of a dormant volcano, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and is known for it’s deep blue color and water clarity. It truly is magical and definitely worth a visit if you’re within a days drive. We first stopped at Merriam Point then drove round to the Watchman Overlook for a quick walk up Watchman Peak. This trail is a well marked realtively easy path. Although it is only 1.6 miles return you are walking up to 8013ft so be prepared! The views are stunning and it is well worth doing.

Crater Lake, OR
Looking at the path to the top of the Crater Lake Watchman Peak trail.
Crater Lake, OR
Looking down from Crater Lake Watchman Peak to the Overlook parking.
Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake Watchman Peak lookout tower.
Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake, OR

From here we went round to Crater Lake Lodge and parked up to do the Garfield Peak Trail. This trail again is easy to follow and a relatively good path, but once again although it’s only 3.6 miles return there is an elevation gain of approximately 1010ft  to the top, which stands at an impressive 8054ft. It took us just over 2 hours return with a long stop at the top just taking in the incredible views. We were blessed with such perfect weather, unbelievable as we were only there for that afternoon!

Crater Lake, OR
Snow dusted trees at Crater Lake, OR.
Crater Lake, OR
Snow dusted trees at Crater Lake, OR.
Crater Lake, OR
View walking up to Garfield Peak, Crater Lake, OR.
Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake from the top of Garfield Peak.

After watching the sunset…..

Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake at sunset.

We set ourselves up for an early start watching the sunrise the next morning before heading north towards Sisters and the John Day Fossil Beds Monument.

Crater Lake, OR
Crater Lake at sunrise.

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