The scenic Rim Drive around Crater Lake plays host to many gorgeous stops and beautiful overlooks. Below, we have listed some of the "need to see" spots on the 33-mile drive. For more info, be sure to head over to the Crater Lake website.
Take a walk in the shoes of early pioneers and imagine being the first to find Crater Lake. Near this spot in 1853, on the back of a mule, John Hillman was the first European-American to lay his eyes on this magnificient lake. He originally called it "Deep Blue Lake."
The Watchman Overlook pullout offers incredible views of the lake and Wizard Island, a cinder cone that erupted out of the lake around 7,300 years ago. Located just 3.8 miles west of Rim Village, this viewpoint is lined with wooden fences and is a essential stop on your way around Crater Lake.
Just 1-mile off of Rim Drive, this spur road is the highest paved road in Oregon. The overlook is on edge of the east side of the lake and is surrounded by whitebark pines clinging to the hillsides. They are crippled and beaten thanks to harsh winds.
Pumice Castle Overlook
Keep a watchful eye out for this unmarked viewpoint. Located 1.1 miles west of Cloudcap Overlook junction and 2.4 miles east of the Phantom Ship Overlook, this viewpoint offers gorgeous views of the colorful pumice rock. The rock has been eroded over the years and now vaguely resembles a medieval castle built into the lake's edge.
Phantom Ship Overlook
The Phantom Ship, Crater Lake's lesser seen island, is a seemingly small rock formation tucked away on the southern side of the lake. Although it resembles a small sailboat, the island actually stands as tall as a 16-story building. Made of 400,000 year old, erosion-resistant lava, it is the oldest exposed rock in the caldera and is definitely worth the stop!
A short 6-mile drive off of Rim Drive, Pinnacles Overlook offers a rare yet stunning view of large, colorful spires. Standing 100 feet tall, the Pinnacles were created when volcanic gases rose up through a layer of volcanic ash, turning them into solid rock.
This overlook is well worth the 6-mile
(10-km) detour from Rim Drive. Colorful
spires, 100 feet (30 meters) tall, are being
eroded from the canyon wall. The Pinnacles
are “fossil fumaroles” where volcanic gases
rose up through a layer of volcanic ash,
cementing the ash into solid rock.
While traveling between Phantom Ship Overlook and Park Headquarters, look for this cascading waterfall on the north side of the road. Created by a spring-fed creek, the water tumbles over a glacier-carved cliff and drops over multiple ledges on a 100-foot journey. In the summer, the cascade's spray helps nourish wildflowers near the falls.
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Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
410 SE Spruce St.
PO Box 1262
Roseburg, OR 97470