Crater Lake lodge is located at Crater Lake National Park and offers the best views of the lake. Not only is the lodge one of the most spectacular built lodges throughout the entire National Park system but it provides visitors the opportunity to view the entire lake. Most National Park lodges are tucked away and don’t really show the splendor and beauty of the park that made the lodges famous. However, Crater Lake lodge is perched on the best real estate surrounding the lake and is located in the best geographical location throughout the entire park system. There aren’t a lot of lodges that are built upon a caldera that erupted over 7,000 years ago and provide views of the nations deepest lake. The average snow fall at Crater Lake can exceed 533 inches, which made construction of the lodge very challenging. The lodge was constructed in 1915 and throughout the years, several additional building were built just below the lodge in order to provide additional amenities. This photo was taken from within the grand lodge and you can see that the views are spectacular from within the building. There are several rustic but comfortable chairs lining the very large deck that offers visitors the opportunity to lounge and take in the splendor of the views. Half of the rooms face towards the lake and you will be amazed of the views looking across the lake and into some of the mountains that sit just north and east of the park. The lodge is open year round but due to the snow pack, only the south entrance is open and plowed during the winter season. The north entrance normally doesn’t open until July and even parts of the rim road doesn’t open until July. I’ve visited the park during the first week of July and wasn’t able to drive via the north entrance near Diamond Lake. I ended up having to make that additional 50 mile drive but was able to avoid some of the traffic due to the fact that only the south entrance was open. I also brought my snow shoes and ended up being able to snow shoe through gobs of snow and even had the chance to trail blaze in areas that would normally be closed during peak summer. About 99% of the visitors only take the time to glance at the lake so you will have the opportunity to experience some great solitude as well as work on your tan since the sun in this part of the Southern Oregon Cascades is most epic. If you’re planning a visit to Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is a must.
[/caption] Crater Lake National Park offers some of the most amazing photography opportunities. This photo pretty much says it all! Mt. Thielsen is in the background, along with some amazing clouds hovering high above the park. The lake is where blue got its name and the rim on the other side stands out like a monolith like no other. There are hundreds of old trees like the one shown here that creates a fantastic scene, with the rocks in the foreground also creating an awesome personality. Because I was standing fairly close to the edge of the rim, I made sure to open the lens to 17mm in order to avoid any camera blur. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to saturate the water. I wasn’t using a tripod so I made sure to set the camera lens at IS so I wouldn’t have too much camera shake or blur. This photo goes from 10 feet, in the foreground to over 3 miles in the distance. It’s pretty difficult to ensure that the entire scene won’t have any blur but the best way is to set the camera mode at Program and set the AF point to Automatic Selection. This will allow the camera to auto focus on each subject that you have included in the shot. You may have to move around the camera until the automatic selection captures everything but it’s well worth the effort.
[/caption] Evening photo of Mt. Bailey and Diamond Lake on the last day of May. If you plan on visiting the Southern Oregon Cascades, during the month of May, plan on bringing a pair of snow-shoes or cross country skis if you want to get out and explore the wilderness. In fact, I’ve visited the area in late June and still had to put on my snow-shoes in order to explore the area. I took this shot at about 6:00pm and the sun was just starting to lower behind the mountains. The sun was too bright for me to set the camera in the shutter priority, even with my ND filter. I decided to take advantage of the bright sky and the saturation of the water.
[/caption] Toketee Falls was carved from ancient columnar basalt and drops almost 120 feet in two stages and is located in the Southern Oregon foothills of the Cascades. The hike is fairly easy but the views are awesome. You get the opportunity to witness the sunny and warm temperatures of Oregon’s sub Mediterranean climate. The waterfall is a short hike from highway 138 and there are several other waterfalls within a short hike or drive. Toketee Falls flows along the N. Umpqua River and the hike is a short half mile walk with stunning views of the eroded basalt rock and the swift moving river. This photo was taken from the viewing platform. I’ve seen several pictures from the edge of the river but you will need to duck under the railings and hike down a very steep and unmarked area in order to get to the edge of the river. It looked doable but I decided to save my energy for a 6 mile hike along the N. Umpqua river.
[/caption] Wizard Island looks as though it’s floating above the teal blue lake known as Crater Lake National Park. I’ve added several photos of Crater Lake to my blog but I what I really liked about this photo is that 80% of this shot has the lake in it and it really shows just how magical and beautiful the lake truly is. I wanted to keep any vegetation out of the foreground so I could keep the field of view limited to lake in the foreground. It’s hard to believe that the sky is actually less blue than the lake. I visited Crater Lake on 6/30/10 and wrote an extensive article about the National Park on 7/6/10. In this photo you can see Wizard Island, Llao Rock which stands at 8,049 feet and 9,182 foot Mt. Thielsen. I took this photo while visiting the south eastern part of the Park and was hiking towards 8,054 foot Garfield Peak. It was about 4:15pm and the sun was just to my left. The sun was still pretty high since it was late June. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Tokina 12-24mm wide angle lens. I wasn’t using a tripod or remote switch since I was hiking at such a fast pace. I attached my warming filter and my CIR-PL since the lake and sky were so blue and the warming filter helped bring out the contrasts in the cliffs along the volcano. I had the camera setting at Program/Normal mode so the aperture was set at F-5.6 and the exposure speed at 1/60 second. I also set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.7 since the glare from the sun as well as from the lake was pretty intense. In order to maximize the field of view I made sure to focus on Llao Rock in order to avoid any blur due to the huge field of view in this photo.