Crater Lake National Park

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Crater Lake National Park, 183,224 acres (74,206 hectares), SW Oreg., in the Cascade Range; est. 1902. Crater Lake, 20 sq mi (52 sq km), lies in a huge pit that was created when the top of a prehistoric volcano was blown off by a violent eruption. The second deepest lake (1,932 ft/589 m) in North America, it is 6 mi (9.6 km) wide, lies 6,164 ft (1,879 m) above sea level, and is surrounded by cliffs that are from 500 to 2,000 ft (152–610 m) high. Having no inlet or outlet, the lake was formed by rain and snowfall, and its waters are maintained by precipitation. The lake was found in 1853 by prospectors, who called it Deep Blue Lake because of the intense blue of the water, and was renamed Crater Lake in 1869. A scenic highway follows the rim of the crater. Wizard Island, a cinder cone 776 ft (237 m) high, near the lake's western shore, was also formed by volcanic activity. See National Parks and Monuments (table).