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Deep Blue Wonder

Crater Lake, Oregon is one of those must-see places that few ever do because of its remoteness. Located in southern Oregon and a couple of hours away from any interstate, Crater Lake is something you see. You probably won't swim, boat or fish there. It is the most spectacular site in all of Oregon, so photography is the main activity here. After stopping at the Visitor Center, be sure to stop by the new gift shop and nearby historic lodge. You could stay there if you make reservations well in advance, and be rewarded with outstanding sunrise pictures and plenty of elbow room before the crowds come in the afternoon.

The best views tend to be from the higher west side rim with the afternoon sun to your back. Take a short mile hike up to the Watchman Observation Tower for amazing views of Crater Lake and the scenic ancient volcano peaks surrounding this Oregon wonder. Not to be missed is the Phantom Ship, a rock formation rising above the surface. During the middle of the day, the island seems to float on this deep blue natural wonder. Drive about 10 miles east from the Visitor Center to Sun Notch for an up-close look.

If you have time, the pinnacles section of the park is worth a visit. It's an extra 20 miles of total driving distance off the main loop road at the southeast park of the park.

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