Visiting Crater Lake National Park with Kids

Crater Lake National Park is a beautiful combination of the bluest water you’ve ever seen, views that go on forever and deep green trees.

With miles of road and endless things to do, Crater Lake is a fun destination for all things hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, snowshoeing, site seeing and more.

When we visited Crater Lake we weren’t expecting what we discovered – honestly, we were a little surprised. It was MUCH LARGER than we could have imagined and the blue of the water is completely breathtaking. The pictures I have posted here don’t do it justice.

It is a definite must see for yourself National Park. Our kids saw this park over a year and a half ago and when they noticed I was writing this blog post, they stopped to tell me how amazing it was – so this park is definitely kid approved!

Fun Facts about Crater Lake

  • Crater Lake was formed with the volcano Mount Mazama erupted.
  • It’s 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States.
  • All of the water comes from snow or rain – there’s no rivers or springs going into the lake, which means it’s one of the cleanest lakes in the world.
  • Crater Lake National Park gets more than 43 feet of snow every year!
  • There are 30 pullouts along the 33 mile rim road where you can see ash formations, waterfalls and overlook the crater. My personal favorite is the view of the valleys beyond the lake (the third picture below).
  • There’s an amazing formation called Phantom Ship Island in the middle of the lake that looks like a pirate ship sailing by.
  • There are four forest zones in Crater Lake National Park that offers the opportunity to see many types of evergreen trees.
  • The elevation and seclusion of Crater Lake makes it an amazing place to star gaze.

Some things to consider searching for: Phantom Ship Island, Pinnacles, the Mazama Newt (only at Crater Lake!).

Preparing for Your Trip To Crater Lake National Park With Kids

The only National Park in Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is as rural as it gets. A road trip to this park is going to require a little planning.

  • Bring plenty water and snacks. There’s not many places to get it along the way and you’re definitely going to want to have it if you choose to jump on any of the trails.
  • Bring a lite jacket if you’re going early or late in the short July – September season.
  • Bring towels if you plan to get in the water. It’s cold. I mean… COLD. Even in the middle of the Summer. Air drying is going to be something like torture, especially for the little littles.
  • Have a plan for the things you want to see before you get there. We missed out on the Phantom Ship because by time we realized we were going the wrong way to see it, we were literally running on fumes and weren’t sure if we could make it out to get gas.

Can I just stop here and say – get gas before you go outside of any major town? If you’ve never coasted out of a National Park on fumes or never ever want to – take this advice to heart. My truck gets 600 miles a tank and I did NOT plan ahead for that one despite being a seasoned National Park stalker. .

One of my favorite stops along the rim – mostly because of the endless mountain view.

Look at that little bit of turquoise…


Yes, it really is THAT blue. Honestly, these pictures don’t even begin to show the colors that are going to register when you get there.

Be sure to tag us on IG @MamaHuman if you go and let us know what you thought.

We were not able to stop and enjoy campgrounds or trails on this trip, but I am sure we will go back again so we can update this post with more information.

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