Oregon Cascades National Park

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK

The deepest lake in America. One of the deepest lakes on earth. Crater Lake may be one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon, but it’s definitely a national wonder as well. 

The national park that protects its eponymous lake can be found in southern Oregon along the Cascade range. Before Theodore Roosevelt dubbed Crater Lake a national park in 1902, Native Americans were there to witness the wild eruption that prompted Mt. Mazama to collapse—leaving the caldera we see today. The Klamath Tribes, who recognized Crater Lake as gii-was, or a “sacred place,” had Crater Lake all to themselves until white explorers came upon it in 1853. 

Crater Lake’s deep waters are fed by both snow and rain, creating one of the world’s most pristine lakes. Whether it’s bicycling the Pinnacles Trail, fishing for Kokanee salmon, swimming in Crater Lake’s chilly waters, fitting in some backcountry camping, or viewing the herds of elk, deer, fox, marmot, pika, wolf, black bear, porcupine, bald eagle, or elusive mountain lions and bobcats, plenty of outdoor adventures await in Crater Lake National Park. 

SMITH ROCK STATE PARKĀ 

SMITH ROCK STATE PARK 

Perhaps best known for its towering rock spires that have called forth climbers en masse over the years, Smith Rock is one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon right along with Crater Lake. Covering over 650 acres and loftily siting at around 3,000 feet in elevation, Smith Rock State Park also offers hikes up the ridge and through deep canyons—making the park an outdoor adventurer’s playground and a climber’s mecca. 

Cliffs of compressed volcanic ash are ideal for climbing, bouldering and slack lining. Climbers can find several thousand climbs within the park, and over a thousand are bolted routes that web across the cliffs and towers. Deep canyons carved through sage, followed by winding rivers, offer hiking and mountain biking opportunities ideal for spotting prairie falcons, golden eagles, mule deer and the occasional river otter and beaver.