The Project Gutenberg eBook of Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (1938)

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Title: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (1938)

Creator: United States. National Park Service

Release date: May 19, 2015 [eBook #48993]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, Dave Morgan, Chris Curnow
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


Crater Lake National Park: Oregon

National Park


Crater Lake National Park:
Discovery and History 2
The Geologic Story of Crater Lake 3
Places of Interest 7
Sinnott Memorial 7
Rim Drive 9
Wizard Island 9
The Phantom Ship 9
Garfield Peak 9
Llao Rock 9
The Watchman 10
Cloud-Cap 10
Mount Scott 10
The Pinnacles 10
Union Peak 11
Mount Thielsen 11
Llao’s Hallway 11
Castle Crest Wild Flower Garden 11
Wild Animals 12
Bird Life 13
Fishing 14
Winter Sports 15
The Forests 16
Wild Flowers 17
How To Reach the Park 19
By Railroad 19
By Automobile 19
By Airplane 20
By Motor Coach 20
Administration 21
Rim Village 21
Camping 21
Accommodations and Expenses 25
References 25
Rules and Regulations 27
Events of Historical Importance 28
Oregon Caves National Monument 29
Lava Beds National Monument 31
National Parks in Brief 34

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE · Arno B. Cammerer, Director





Located in southern Oregon, on the crest of the lofty Cascade Range, Crater Lake National Park has a high place among the Nation’s most scenic wonderlands. It is a gem of rare excellence, possessing unity of form and color. At Crater Lake visitors observe beauty in its truest sense and experience a profound inspirational appeal. Pervaded by an air of mystery, tranquillity now prevails where once unfathomable volcanic power was displayed.

The lake rests in the very heart of a mighty mountain whose destruction resulted in the formation of a vast crater in which the waters accumulated. It is 6 miles wide, 2,000 feet deep, covers an area of 20 square miles, and has a circular shore line of 26 miles, with multicolored lava cliffs rising 500 to 2,000 feet above the lake.

Mountain trails lead to the summits of high points about the rim and down a thousand feet to the shores of a sea of silence. At the water’s edge motorboats and rowboats are available for those who wish to see more of the lake or try their hand at trout fishing. Daily boat trips are scheduled around the lake shore line and to Wizard Island, a perfect little crater jutting out of blue depths to a height of 763 feet. A motor drive extends around the crater edge for a distance of 35 miles, presenting scores of enthralling views of the scenic wonder. The constantly changing color and the contrast of lava cliffs and blue water are beautiful beyond description.

Crater Lake National Park embraces an area of 250.52 square miles and was established by act of Congress on May 22, 1902.



Legend says that the Klamath Indians believed Crater Lake was once a weird, ghostly amphitheater where the gods were forever embroiled in conflict, sporting in its blue waters and dwelling on its rocky heights and in its mystic depths.

Pioneers came slowly to southern Oregon, its sparse population in the early fifties living in constant dread of Indian wars. Miles of mountain region had never been explored when a party of California prospectors came to the mining village of Jacksonville. This was the only settlement in the region and owed its existence to the discovery of gold nearby. The Californians while preparing a journey into the mountains remained secretive regarding their mission. The purpose of their trip, however, was betrayed by a member of the party to a group of Oregon miners who learned that the strangers were searching for a “Lost Cabin Mine,” believed to be near the head of the Rogue River. Without delay, the Oregon miners followed the Californians into the wilds, despite persistent efforts of the latter to evade them. Later, when the food supplies of both parties were running low, John Wesley Hillman, leader of the Oregon party, succeeded in uniting the two forces, and the search for the mine was postponed to hunt for game.

Thus it was on June 12, 1853, that Hillman, who had gone on some distance ahead of the hunting group, happened to ride up a deep canyon which, judging from its depth and width, he thought would lead to a higher slope. Letting his mule pick its way upward, he kept peering through the woods for game. Then suddenly the animal stopped, halting at the very rim of a deep blue lake. As the rider looked down he beheld a scene of unsurpassed beauty. Other members of the party soon joined their leader, and they agreed to call the body of water Deep Blue Lake.

In the excitement of gold discoveries and Indian wars, Crater Lake was forgotten for several years. There were no more visits by white men until 1862 when a party of six unsuspecting miners, led by Chauncey Nye, happened upon the place while on a prospecting trip and believed they had made a new discovery, only to learn afterward of Hillman’s visit. A third “discovery” was made in 1865 by a party of soldiers from Fort Klamath. They called the body of water Lake Majesty. This name was changed to Crater Lake in 1869 by visitors from Jacksonville.

Some years later, in 1872, William Gladstone Steel came to Oregon. The story is told that when Steel was a schoolboy in Kansas he had heard of the discovery of Crater Lake and had made a resolution that he would sometime see the western wonder. He spent 7 years in Oregon before he could find anyone who had heard of Crater Lake; two more passed before he found a person who had actually seen it. It was not until 1885 that 3 he was able to visit the place which he found to be even more beautiful than he had anticipated. The result was that Judge Steel conceived the idea of setting aside the lake and the region thereabout as a national park. He began an immediate agitation for this. Though the task was not an easy one and there was much opposition from certain quarters, Steel was undaunted by the rebuffs and continued his efforts unselfishly and with personal sacrifice over a period of 17 years. Success crowned his work when the park was established by an act of Congress, approved May 22, 1902. Judge Steel thereafter devoted his life to the development of the park and became one of its first superintendents. Later he became park commissioner, holding this office until his death in 1934.

Soon after Steel’s first visit, soundings were taken on the lake under the direction of Capt. C. E. Dutton of the United States Geological Survey. Over a month was spent in the work, with the deepest sounding recorded at 1,996 feet.

The first survey for a road system within the park was made in 1910 and 1911; 2 years later the entrance roads from Medford and Klamath Falls were built. Though these roads were very primitive when compared with those now developed, they served the needs of that time when travel was yet dependent principally on horses and wagons.


Origin of the Mountain.—Visitors to Crater Lake find they must ascend extensive slopes of volcanic ash or pumice to view the lake resting in a crater approximately 5 miles in diameter, with walls from 500 to 2,000 feet high. Geologists tell us this rim is the remnant of an ancient mountain which stood more than 14,000 feet high.

In 1896 the Mazama Club, a mountain-climbing group of Portland, Oreg., visited the lake and with fitting ceremonies gave to the ancient mountain, never viewed by man, the name Mount Mazama.

In comparatively recent geologic time enormous flows of molten rock poured out over an area of more than 100,000 square miles, extending into Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and California. These masses of lava came to the surface largely through great cracks or fissures in the earth’s surface. A typical example of such extensive flows may be seen in the lava beds forming the Columbia River Gorge.

Numerous volcanoes were formed in this lava region during the relatively late outpourings of molten rock through small openings. The mass of these volcanoes represents only an extremely small volume in proportion to the total mass of lava. Mount Mazama at Crater Lake is one of these volcanoes, likewise are the volcanic cones of the Cascade Range. The more 4 noted of these are Mount Rainier (14,408 feet), Mount Shasta (14,161 feet), Mount Adams (12,326 feet), Mount Hood (11,225 feet), Mount Baker (10,750 feet), Mount Lassen (10,453 feet), and Mount St. Helena (9,697 feet).

The mountain in which Crater Lake rests was built principally by lava flows, poured out layer upon layer, and to a lesser degree by the piling up of volcanic ash, soil, and the deposits of streams and glaciers as they flowed down the mountain. At Dutton Cliff we see an example of successive layers of lava and volcanic ash. Near Discovery Point, in addition to layers of lava and volcanic ash, one may also see examples of glacial deposits and glacial striae or scratches.

One can understand Crater Lake in its relation to the volcano only when the mountain is considered as the result of a building process extending over long periods in which many changes took place. The following is an explanation of some of the processes.

Lava outpourings through splitting of the mountain.—In addition to spilling out as broad flows of melted rock, it is common for the tremendous mass of molten lava in a volcano to break through the mountain side. The lava filling of such a crack or fissure is known as a dike. After it cools the material filling these fissures is often harder than the surrounding rock. Subsequent wash of water may cut away the softer bordering material, leaving the hard filling of the fissure as a sharp ridge. Devils Backbone, on the west side of Crater Lake, is an illustration of such a lava dike.

Action of streams and glaciers on the mountain in the course of its building.—In the section of layers forming the rim of the mountain we find evidences of wash by water. In some places this is shown by the cutting of valleys; at others, by the accumulation of water-carried ash, gravel, and boulders.

Glacier ice carrying sand, pebbles, and boulders scratches or polishes the rock surface as it moves slowly over it. Glacial polish and thick beds of material carried by glaciers are common around the mountain. They are present on the surface rock and seem also to appear between earlier layers, showing that glaciers were present at various stages in the history of the mountain.

Broad U-shaped valleys cut at various points around the crater are also characteristic of glacial action. Kerr Notch is such an evidence of glacial erosion. It was through a similar ancient glacial notch that the lava forming Llao Rock flowed.

Forming of the crater.—The broken edges of rock layers seen on the crater slopes indicate widening of the crater in all directions. The edges of these rock layers inside the crater wall are clearly exposed because they 5 have been sharply broken around the entire inner rim region. This fracturing occurred in the course of widening the crater. Increase in size of the opening at the summit of the mountain, which eventually formed the present crater, may have been caused by tremendous explosions, or by collapse of the peak, or by a combination of such activities.

If the activity of a volcano diminishes slowly, growth of the mountain may end in forming a symmetrical cone. If activity continues by spasmodic outbursts, explosions may blow away a considerable part of the peak. Other conditions may bring about undermining of the walls in such manner as to produce a wide cauldronlike crater, but without tremendous explosions.

Recent investigations by Howel Williams, under a grant from the National Academy of Sciences, have led to the conclusion that the crater owes its origin principally to collapse or engulfment of the mountain peak.

Formation of the crater by collapse was first proposed by J. S. Diller of the United States Geological Survey. Diller’s explanation differs from that of Williams principally in the method by which the void beneath the crest of Mount Mazama was formed. Diller thought that great quantities of molten rock were drained away through subterranean passages, thus weakening the support of the mountain peak and causing ultimate collapse.

In a report to be published by Williams, he describes great quantities of volcanic ash or pumice extending for a distance of more than 80 miles northeast of Mount Mazama. This ash is equivalent to more than 20 cubic miles of material and is thought to have been blown from the mountain in a catastrophic event, and carried northeastward by the prevailing winds. Analysis of this ash shows that it is new material derived from the magma within the volcano and not finely divided fragments of the original mountain walls.

Following this explosion the mountain is thought to have literally boiled over, pouring out great quantities of frothy magma which flowed down the sides of the mountain and overflowed the lowlands below. The greater quantity extended to the south and southwest for distances up to 35 miles. This material poured out from the crater as a series of avalanches which must have flowed at a terrific speed for those on the south and west sides of the mountain did not begin to deposit their load until they reached a distance of 4 or 5 miles from the crater.

Accompanying these explosions and the outpouring of this lava material, cracks developed in the flanks of the mountain and eventually the top collapsed and was engulfed within the void produced by the outpourings of ash and molten rock, thus forming the crater as we see it today.

By projecting the present slopes of the crater rim upward and making adjustments to conform to the slopes of similar volcanoes, it has been 6 estimated that approximately 17 cubic miles of old lava has been removed, which formed the upper part of ancient Mount Mazama.

Toward the close of the activity forming the crater, minor eruptions produced Wizard Island and possibly other cones.—If the lake were removed, the crater would be seen as a relatively flat-floored cavity extending as a maximum about 2,000 feet below the present lake surface. In this great depression Wizard Island would appear as one of perhaps several volcanic cones produced by pouring out of lava and cinders in the last period of volcanic activity. Forming of the present floor probably involved many stages, during some of which the cauldronlike crater may have been occupied by wide stretches of molten lava, as in the “lake of fire,” at Kilauea, in Hawaii.

Origin of the lake.—The water of Crater Lake is derived from rainfall and snowfall over this crater region, together with snow blown into the depression. The lake is not known to have an outlet except by seepage. The conditions of evaporation, seepage, and precipitation are in a state of balance which makes possible this accumulation of water and maintenance of approximately this water level. If the region were at a different altitude, or in a different location, the lake might not have been formed.

It is conceivable that in the course of late stages in its history, and under climatic conditions different from those of the present, the crater may at times have been filled in part with ice.

The existence of Crater Lake was made possible by the building of a mountain, in the elevated summit of which there could be formed a wide and deep cavity having no outlet, except by seepage, and no inlet. The conditions required for the accumulation of a body of water with the peculiar beauty of this lake are furnished in a crater produced by a combination of those tremendous forces found in the power and heat of a volcano.

Color an outstanding character of Crater Lake.—The color of Crater Lake is generally recognized as the most attractive feature of this region. Among spectacular lakes of the world there are none in which the depth of color and brilliance of blue are more striking. The blue of the deeper water is brought out in contrast with the brilliant green of shallow areas along the margin.

The deep blue of the lake is believed to be caused chiefly by the scattering of light in water of exceptional depth and clearness. The color is thought to be due to the same cause that produces the blue of the sky where light passes through deep atmosphere.

The extraordinary beauty of the lake arises in part from its great depth, the clearness of the water, and of the atmosphere above it, and from favorable conditions presented in viewing it from the high crater rim.


Grant photo



In recognition of great service to Crater Lake National Park and to the State of Oregon, Congress authorized by an act approved May 14, 1930, the construction of a memorial to Representative Nicholas J. Sinnott of Oregon. Following this recommendation an attractive stone building was constructed on Victor Rock, just inside the rim of Crater Lake. The structure, with its broad parapet looking over the lake, serves as an orientation point for all park visitors. High-powered field glasses are trained on the important features, helping the visitor to understand the geologic history of the lake and to appreciate the relationship between the scenic and scientific. Displays in the exhibit room, maintained in connection with the observation station, further aid the visitor to appreciate the beauties of the park and to interpret the moods of Crater Lake. A large relief map of the Crater Lake region is located on the parapet. This particular feature of the Sinnott Memorial display is extremely popular in that it helps visitors to locate places of interest. All those who come to Crater Lake should visit the Sinnott Memorial as soon as possible after their arrival in the park. It is located close to the lodge and campground and may be reached in a 2-minute walk from the highway.



[High-resolution Map]



An interesting highway encircles the lake. Visitors are invited to use this highway and enjoy the many views of the lake from numerous observation points along the road. A daily auto caravan is conducted by the naturalist staff along a portion of the rim road. Visitors taking the caravan have an opportunity to see a number of scenic points as well as to become familiar with certain phases of the botany, geology, and history of the park. The objective of the caravan is the Watchman observation and lookout station on the summit of the Watchman Peak on the west rim of the crater. Arriving at that station, the visitors have an opportunity to become familiar with the very important work of forest protection from the standpoint of a fire lookout. All caravan trips start from the Sinnott Memorial. The time of departure is announced on the bulletin boards and at lectures.


This is a symmetrical cinder cone rising 763 feet above the surface of the lake. The island may be reached by boat. A trail leads from the shore to the crater, which is approximately 90 feet deep and 300 feet in diameter.


Not far from Wizard Island is a formation called the Phantom Ship. It rises from the waters of the lake, a twisted and strangely formed mass of lava. Its shape strongly suggests a ship under sail. The illusion at dusk or in the moonlight is impressive. In certain lights the phantom ship seems suddenly to disappear.


With an altitude of 8,060 feet, this peak is easily reached by trail from the lodge. From the summit there is a magnificent view of the lake and of the range to the eastward.


Llao Rock rises nearly 2,000 feet above the lake level. As mentioned in the geologic story of the lake, this rock was formed by a lava flow which descended the slopes of Mount Mazama and filled one of the large U-shaped valleys once occupied by a glacier.

According to a legend of the Klamath and Modoc Indians the mystic land of the Gaywas was the home of the great god Llao. His throne in the infinite depths of the blue waters was surrounded by giant crawfish, his warriors, who were able to lift great claws out of the water and seize too venturesome enemies on the cliff tops.

War broke out with Skell, the god of the neighboring Klamath marshes. Skell was captured and his heart used for a ball by Llao’s monsters. But an eagle, one of Skell’s servants, captured it in flight, and a coyote, another of 10 Skell’s servants, escaped with it; and Skell’s body grew again around his living heart. Once more he was powerful and once more he waged war against the god of the lake. Then Llao was captured; but he was not so fortunate. Upon the highest cliff his body was quartered and cast into the lake and eaten by his own monsters under the belief that it was Skell’s body. But when Llao’s head was thrown in the monsters recognized it and would not eat it.

Llao’s head still lies in the lake, and white men call it Wizard Island. The cliff where Llao was quartered is named Llao Rock.


On the rim, directly west of Wizard Island, is The Watchman. This peak, deriving its name from its use as one of the observation points during the sounding of the lake in 1886, is of interest not only because of its height, but because of the fire lookout and observation station on its summit. They may be reached after a 15-minute walk over a new trail from the rim road. A rare panorama of the park and surrounding country may be viewed from this point, which is 8,025 feet above the level of the sea and 2,000 feet above the lake.


Possibly the most comprehensive view of the lake may be obtained from Cloud-cap, on the east rim. Its summit rises over 8,000 feet above the level of the sea and 2,000 feet above the lake. To the east is Mount Scott and to the north and west wide vistas of the summit of the range. On a clear day the shining surface of Klamath Lake may be seen far to the south, bordered with vast marshlands and the dark timber at the foot of the range, while farther south is the crown of beautiful Mount Shasta. The strange coloring of Crater Lake is well observed from Cloud-cap. In the sunlight there is play of clouds and soft shadows upon the surface of the lake. Purple hues, delicate lavender with violet blue, and deep streaks of emerald shading to a silvered green along the shores present a variation of color and beauty one may never hope to see elsewhere.


East of Cloud-cap is Mount Scott, easily climbed and affording fine unobstructed views. The peak is the highest point within the park, reaching an altitude of nearly 9,000 feet. A fire lookout is located on the summit.


Located in Wheeler Creek, near the east entrance of the park, are slender spires of pumice. Some of the needles are 200 feet in height. In Sand Creek Canyon and Godfrey’s Glen in Annie Creek Canyon there are additional 11 spires and fluted columns carved out of the soft volcanic material by the erosion of water. As erosion continues the Pinnacles grow in height and new ones are slowly being formed.

During the summer of 1935, ranger naturalists discovered many small fumaroles near the top of the gray tuff and ash deposits of Wheeler Creek Canyon. Some of them are within the pinnacles themselves, regarded as proof that the deposits were once hot and of the nature of sand flows like those in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska.


From the highway that mounts the Cascade Range from the west, one obtains a splendid view of Union Peak, 7 miles to the southwest of Crater Lake. It appears to have been placed on the top of the range to mark the burial place of a guide of Indian lore. This strange towering peak is the remaining neck of what was once an active volcano which played its part in the building of the Cascade Range. It is a landmark of unusual form among the peaks, rising 1,400 feet above the crest of the range and nearly 8,000 feel above sea level. Trail trips to Union Peak are among the finest offered in the Crater Lake area.


This great clifflike formation, rising to an elevation of 9,178 feet, is to the north of Crater Lake and outside of the park. It is a picturesque sight when seen from the heights surrounding the lake and is often referred to as the Matterhorn of the Cascade Range. It is the wreck remaining of a great mountain. The sharp summit of the peak has been shattered repeatedly by lightning, producing fused glassy surfaces and tortuous opening of the nature of fulgurite formations. To reach its sharp heights is difficult and requires experience in mountain climbing. Near the foot of Thielsen lies Diamond Lake.


The Hallway, a gorge 125 feet deep cut through pumice material by stream erosion, is located on a tributary to Castle Creek just north of the White Horse campground on the Medford Road. There are numerous cave amphitheaters and narrow passageways along the trail which follows the bottom of the gorge.


Ideal for the study and viewing of Crater Lake flora, this garden is near Park Headquarters, 3 miles from the rim area. A half-mile trail winds through this area, alive with blooms throughout the summer season.



The park abounds with the smaller game species that are of great interest to the visitor because of their friendly inquisitiveness. Members of the squirrel family have learned that they will not be harmed and so are numerous along roads and trails and at any place where people congregate, knowing that in such surroundings they will find a wealth of tidbits.

With the possible exception of the bear, the larger mammals are fairly well represented but not numerous. Of the three deer species, the Columbia blacktail is most common. Also reported is the larger Rocky Mountain mule deer, and infrequently a band of whitetail deer may be discovered in one of the grassy, watered meadows. Elk have been noted along the eastern side of the park as far north as the base of Mount Scott. The visitor who sees them, however, is fortunate, as elk are rare in the park.

Copyright, Kiser BRUIN CLIMBS A TREE

Copyright, Kiser

Bears, while they may be seen by the keen observer in many parts of the park, are most numerous around Park Headquarters and may be seen at almost any hour of the day foraging in the garbage pit nearby. Excepting a few brown individuals, they are the well-known black variety.

Sometimes as many as three cubs, attended by their mother, make their appearance. Visitors never tire of watching the antics of these little balls of fur as they frolic and play. An occasional disciplinary cuff administered by a watchful mother always causes much merriment among the spectators.

In the interest of safety, it is prohibited to feed the bears by hand. Too many persons have been painfully clawed doing so. Also it is well not to get between the mother and her cubs.

Others of the larger animals extant in the park, but seldom seen by the casual observer, are the cougar or mountain lion, the wolf, the coyote, and the red fox.

Most common and approachable are the friendly and gluttonous little golden-mantled ground squirrels. They stuff their cheeks with peanuts 13 from the hands of visitors until they can hold no more, then scurry away, hurriedly cache the supply for future use, and come back for more. Numerous also, but not quite so trusting, are two species of chipmunks, easily distinguished from the golden-mantled squirrel. These little fellows seem charged with electric energy, darting to and fro, seemingly never quiet.

Basking on a warm rock or stodgily making his way among them, one will frequently see the marmot, whose kind is plentiful along all the roads and trails.

The hiker is constantly having his way challenged by the alert and exceedingly saucy little pine squirrel, who may be recognized by his very audacity. The porcupine is frequently observed as he waddles clumsily in search for food, which consists chiefly of succulent bark from young pine trees.

The shrill note of the cony or pika may often be heard on rocky slopes, but, unless he moves, it is almost impossible to discover him because of his wonderful protective coloration. These tiny animals may be seen at the foot of the Crater Wall Trail or along slopes of Garfield Peak.

Not quite so interesting, perhaps, but often seen, are badgers, gray squirrels, and snowshoe rabbits. Other furry little denizens not so frequently seen are the mink, flying squirrel, marten, and several species of mice. Gopher workings are common.

In only one place in the park, and that far off the beaten paths, lives a colony of beaver. These particular animals live in a bank burrow and have not built the big lodge familiarly associated with the name.

Due to the general elevation of the area, there are few reptiles. Salamanders are common on the lake shore and frogs and toads along the creeks.


Great numbers of birds of many varieties have discovered that Crater Lake National Park is a sanctuary for them. There are more than 110 varieties in the park.

The Eagle Crags have furnished nesting places for the golden eagle and the southern bald eagle; Llao Rock is the home of falcons. Ospreys have been seen, and the dusky horned owl forages nightly. California gulls visit the park and Farallon cormorants are known to have nested and raised their young on the lake. There are ravens and half a dozen varieties of hawks. Canvasback and golden-eye ducks may be seen, and the Sierra grouse inhabits the timber lands. Clark’s crow and crested jays and gray jays make their presence known on the trails and around the campgrounds.

Smaller birds frequently seen are the mountain bluebird, Townsend solitaire, Sierra junco, pine siskin, Sierra creeper, red breasted nuthatch, 14 mountain chickadee, and western evening grosbeak. There are golden and ruby-crowned kinglets, robins, wrens, wood and green-tailed towhees, purple and rosy finches, chipping and other sparrows, two varieties of thrushes, and five varieties of warblers. Occasionally a humming bird is seen.

The most noticeable of the small birds of the park is the western tanager, a brilliant streak of gold as he darts and flits in the dark foliage, and equally remarkable in coloring when he rests on twig or branch, where his red head, yellow body, and black wings with yellow bars are unmistakable. The sweetest singer in the park is the Sierra hermit thrush—shy, difficult to locate, but making his presence known by his beautiful song.

During migratory seasons, thousands of geese, including the Canadian, snow, and white-fronted varieties, fly over the park, taking advantage of a low pass over the Cascade mountains near Annie Spring. These birds make their flights in daylight hours, while numerous other varieties of waterfowl fly over at night.


Angling amid scenes of towering, multicolored cliffs in heavily trout-stocked waters of deepest blue is an experience long to be remembered. Trout bite readily in Crater Lake and are caught in goodly numbers. These trout are not small nor do they submit easily after they are hooked. Trout as long as 36 inches have been caught; the average is around 2 pounds each and the length 16 inches.

The crystal-clear waters of the lake provide good fly fishing. Experienced fly casters have reported success many times, using a wide assortment of lures. During certain hours of the day fish jump lustily along the shore line, and here flies are placed to effective use. Trolling, however, is the popular method, with results satisfactory in most sections of the lake. Spoons or spinners are principally used, although plugs are occasionally a part of the tackle.

The limit of a day’s catch is 12 per person, extending during the summer season. No fishing license is necessary.

Although today Crater Lake literally teems with rainbow and silverside trout, in addition to a lesser number of steelhead, German brown, and speckled trout, some 50 years ago the lake was devoid of piscatorial life of any kind.

The first fish were planted September 1, 1888, by Judge William Gladstone Steel, but with little success. A few years later a California minister succeeded in planting 200 fingerlings, but after that plantings were rare for many years. Since the park was established in 1902, fish have been systematically 15 planted, especially during the past decade. So well has this work been done that the lake is now abundantly stocked and care is being taken not to overstock this body of water.

The trout are largely dependent for food on an abundance of small crustaceans in the lake. Research carried on in 1934-36 revealed that while 53.7 percent of the food came from crustaceans, 47.1 percent of this classification was confined to Daphnia pulex (water fleas). The figures were determined after the examination of 224 trout stomachs. The water fleas are most commonly found at a depth of 75 feet and are the most abundant of several types of food found in the lake depths.


The 12 months accessibility of Crater Lake National Park has made possible the enjoyment of winter sports in rare settings of wintry splendor. Steep and gradual slopes, according to speeds desired, are numerous in the park and are ideal for skiing and tobogganing, the source of many thrills for amateur winter recreationists.


Crawford photo

Professional snow meets in the park are not encouraged, but special attention is paid to amateur sports, making it possible for entire families to enjoy a day in the snow. Snow plows keep the south and west approach roads effectively cleared for comfortable motor travel between banks from 16 10 to 20 feet high in midwinter. Rangers are on constant duty during the winter season to render service to visitors. Lodging and food accommodations are within 20 miles of either side of the park.

In addition to snow sports, visitors have the opportunity of viewing Crater Lake in a raiment of white, accentuating the mystic beauty of its unbelievably blue waters and its encircling, towering cliffs of multitudinous colors in close harmony with the pristine appeal of the mountain wonder.

Inspiring to behold in the greenery of summer, Crater Lake robed in the white silences of winter is a magic scene of color, vastness, and mystery never to be forgotten.


Untouched by the hand of man, except for insect and tree disease control, and carefully guarded against the ravages of fire, the forests of Crater Lake form one of the park’s principal attractions. This is true not only from a scenic standpoint and a never-failing interest for tree lovers, but also because of the vast acres of magnificent stands.

Of the considerable number of trees within the park, the majority are cone bearers. Some of these extend down the western slope well outside the boundary. The lower species meet and mingle with such broad-leaved trees as oak, maple, and madrone. Entering the lowest part of the park in the southwest corner via the deep canyon of Redblanket Creek are several trees not generally known to occur within the area. These include Brewer oak (Quercus oerstediana), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), golden chinquapin (Castanopsis chrysophylla), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), and Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii).

The mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) is characteristic of the Crater Lake region, its stately trunks, drooping limbs, and feathery foliage providing woodland beauty that is never forgotten. It is common to the inner wall of the crater and seeks high altitudes on mountain peaks, where its growth is stunted and its limbs beaten down by storms. An imposing stand greets the visitor at Annie Spring, continuing on both sides of the highway to the rim, its large trunks suggestive of the hundreds of years these trees have been growing undisturbed in their mountain fastness. Here, indeed, is the forest in all of its pristine glory. It occurs in heavy stands along the road around the lake, enhancing the beauty of the Rim Drive. The great trunks crowd each other for space beneath the shade of their lofty crowns.

An outstanding tree of the park is the whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), often short and stunted and grotesquely twisted, fringing the rim and 17 crowning the highest crests. It illustrates best among trees the stern struggle for existence. The lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), most prolific of the park’s conifers, covers thousands of acres of dense stand and extends down the cool canyons to and beyond the park boundaries. The Shasta red fir (Abies magnifica shastensis), a stately tree with its regularly meshed branches and large bract-covered cones, is an abundant tree scattered throughout the hemlock forest.

The western white pine (Pinus monticola), while usually a middle-sized tree, furnishes the largest individual in the park, having a diameter of approximately 8 feet. More abundant along water courses and about wet meadows, can be seen the slender spires of the alpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa). In some places this tree continues over the rim to the inner wall of the crater. Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) is usually confined to the bottoms of deep canyons. Other trees include the white fir (Abies concolor), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), all companions of the ponderosa pine.

Another species in the park is the incense cedar (Libocedrus decurrens). While this tree is not common, it is not hard to find, one prominant group being on the motorway 3 miles west of Hillman Peak. Several of the specimens are as large as 4½ feet in diameter.

Further enhancing the beauty of the park woodlands are a few broad-leaved trees and a large variety of attractive shrubs and undergrowth. No less than nine willows, two alders, and a maple are among the more abundant and conspicuous shrubs which fringe the streams and clothe the meadows. The timid aspens (Populus tremuloides) grow beside the larger trees of the cone-bearing species, their small roundish leaves trembling in mountain breezes. The black cottonwoods (Populus trichocarpa) also mingle with the evergreen trees in the deep canyons.

Many travelers visit Crater Lake, view the majestic splendor of the world-famed scenic wonder, and leave without realizing the beauties of the forest lands about them. A visit to the park is assuredly most complete after pleasant summer nights spent encamped under the spreading limbs of its stately hemlocks, pines, and firs. The sweet aroma of the woods, their carpeted floors and rustling leaves, add much to the joy and inspiration of a visit.


With a list of over 570 flowering plants and ferns, Crater Lake’s richness in species and individuals compares favorably with other national parks. This is not at first apparent to the visitor. If he enters by the usual gateways and travels the beaten paths, he may even be disappointed in the flowers. Over much of the region, all of which is volcanic, the soil is 18 made up chiefly of fine pumice sand, and for most of the growing season is lacking in moisture. So perforce the plant life must be limited to those forms whose peculiar structure adapt them to such environment. To many, however, this situation only lends variety and adds peculiar interest. Pleasing to the eye are the massed color effects in the open spaces and the drier forest areas. Wherever the highway enters the regions of the streams, these massed effects increase, and one is gladdened by the transformation due to water’s magic touch. If the visitor travels the many byroads and winding trails to the mountain meadows beside the singing brooks, or by boat along the rocky shore of the lake, he will find gardens of transcendent beauty. No more enchanting ones can be found than Castle Crest Gardens at park headquarters and Talus Garden under the towering walls of Cloud-cap, or lovelier spots than Boundary Springs and Copeland Creek along the western slope of old Mount Mazama.

Soon after entering the park, the attention is caught by bright flashes of the scarlet trumpets of the mountain gilia (G. aggregata), the pineland paintbrush (Castilleja pinetorum), and the abundant white sprays of the snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus). Sheltered by the denser and more somber forests farther along are noteworthy representatives of the heath family, such as prince’s pine (Chimaphila umbellata) and several species of Pyrola, some of the latter with the usual green leaves, yet others without such foliage. Several near relatives belong to this class of leafless saprophites which obtain their food by feeding on decaying vegetation, as, for examples, the tall brownish pine drops (Pterospora andromedea) and the snow-white phantom orchid (Cephalanthera austinae).

Responding to the influence of the diversity of topography and soil and moisture conditions, various types of flowers are abundantly represented around park headquarters. Near at hand on the first bare spots among the snowdrifts, cheerful harbingers of spring, come the lovely wind-flowers (Anemone occidentalis) with cups of white, and the strikingly beautiful yellow lamb’s tongue (Erythronium grandiflorum pallidum). Stone crop (Gormania watsonii) covers the rock ledges, and finest of the rock-loving plants, the pink pentstemon (P. rupicola) drapes the rock walls in company with the lace fern (Cheilanthes gracillima). Delicate bog orchids (Lemnorchis), elephant heads (Pedicularis groenlandica), masses of yellow and pink monkey-flowers (Mimulus), banks of daisy-like fleabane (Erigeron salsuginosus), giant ragwort (Senecio triangularis), and a host of others fill the wet meadows and line the streams. On the talus slopes are long strips of Arnica (A. longifolia). In openings in the hemlock forest the ever abundant narrow-leaved aster (A. ledophyllus) presents a field of purple with intermingled pink fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) and the tall corn lily or false hellebore (Veratrum 19 viride), while the surrounding forest floor is carpeted with the grasslike turf of the smooth wood-rush (Funcoides glabratrum), the most abundant herbaceous plant of the upper forests. In the open pumice fields of the rim area, Douglas phlox (Phlox douglasii), sulphur flower (Eriogonum umbellatum), and the low desert lupine (Lupinus aridus) contribute to the varied color scheme, later transformed into red and gold by the autumnal foliage of Newberry’s knotweed (Polygonum newberryi).

Over the crater’s rim, down the trail to the lake, one is attracted to the trailing raspberry (Rubus lasiococcus), clothing the steep banks, and the spiny currant (Ribes lacustre), prostrate on the rock walls. Abundant on the lower part of the trail and rocky shore of the lake, the large rose-pink flowers of Lewis’ monkey-flower (Mimulus lewisii) are the most conspicuous and striking features of the vegetation.

Across the blue water, even in the more forbidding lavas of Wizard Island, one is greeted at the boat landing by many fine clumps of bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa). A little distance along the trail leading up the island cone, the parrot’s beak (Pedicularis racemosa) is seen under the spreading hemlocks. At the summit, crowning the rim of the miniature crater, emulating the volcanic fires of old, grow the flaming paintbrushes (Castilleja applegatei), mainly restricted to the Crater Lake region. Other plants less showy, sending their long roots deep into the cinders and pumice, reach for moisture and struggle for a foothold in the unstable rock material of the precipitous slope.



The Southern Pacific Railroad serves Crater Lake National Park. The company runs its finest trains over the Cascade route passing through Klamath Falls and also operates regular service over the Siskiyou route passing through Medford, west of the park. The Cascade route comes within a few miles east of the park boundary. Connections with Crater Lake automobile stages are made daily at Medford and Klamath Falls from July 1 to September 20.


The automobile approaches to the park are exceptionally fine. Motorists on the Pacific Highway, going north, have the choice of turning off at Weed in northern California, proceeding to Klamath Falls and then to Crater Lake over The Dalles-California Highway, or proceeding on to Medford over the Pacific Highway and then to Crater Lake, 80 miles distant. Southbound visitors on the Pacific Highway turn off at Medford, 20 as well as motorists arriving from California by way of the Redwoods Highway, which has its junction with the Pacific Highway at Grants Pass.

Travelers to the park from Medford arrive by way of the west entrance and from Klamath Falls by way of the south entrance. Those from Bend, Oreg., 106 miles from Crater Lake, use the well-improved approach via the north entrance, bringing motorists near Diamond Lake while en route to the park. This route is rapidly growing in importance. The east entrance also provides for travel from Bend and The Dalles-California Highway and is usually open earlier in the season due to less snowfall.

En route from Medford, motorists travel through great forest areas, along the banks of rushing streams, along the edges of picturesque canyons, and through attractive mountain country. Of particular interest is the Rogue River, well known for its steelhead and cutthroat trout and salmon fishing.

Motorists entering the park by way of Medford often leave by way of the south entrance to Klamath Falls, 62 miles, or arrive that way and leave over the Medford route. On this trip motorists pass along the Annie Creek Canyon, through the Klamath Indian Reservation, and along the edge of upper Klamath Lake, the largest inland body of water west of the Rocky Mountains.

Through the use of powerful snow plows Crater Lake National Park has been made accessible throughout the year over the Klamath and Medford approach roads. This is possible through the cooperation of the State highway commission. Even during midwinter, when snow attains a depth of 12 to 15 feet on the level, motorists can drive to the very rim of the lake.

Park highways are now continuously open, barring the exception of excessively heavy storms; however the north and east entrances are open only from spring until late fall.


High-speed, de luxe airplane service from all points in the United States to Medford is now available through the United Air Lines, which operates direct service to 19 States. For persons of limited time this service affords a splendid opportunity to see the park. For example, passengers may leave Los Angeles after breakfast, land at Medford, take a bus for the 80-mile drive to the park, and arrive in the afternoon. Leaving New York at noon, one may arrive in Medford in time for breakfast the next morning and drive to the park before lunch.


Pacific Greyhound Lines, covering the United States, operate super highway motor coaches through Medford and Klamath Falls where connections 21 are made with Crater Lake stages during the travel season. The Mount Hood Stages operate daily coach service from Boise, Idaho, The Dalles, Oreg., and Portland, Oreg., over The Dalles-California Highway to Fort Klamath and Klamath tails.


The park is administered by the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior, with a superintendent, E. P. Leavitt, in immediate charge. A force of rangers and ranger-naturalists assists this official.

Also under the jurisdiction of Crater Lake National Park administrative offices are the Oregon Caves National Monument, 50 miles from Grants Pass in southern Oregon, and the Lava Beds National Monument in northern California, 45 miles south of Klamath Falls, Oreg. Both of these areas are popular attractions for visitors.

At Crater Lake long-distance telephone and telegraph services are available at the lodge, at park headquarters, and at various ranger stations. At Oregon Caves such services are available at the Chateau, and at the Lava Beds telephone service is available at Indian Well, monument headquarters.


A large majority of visitors first reach the rim of the lake at the Rim Village. This is the focal point of park activities. Here are the lodge, post office, cafeteria, general store, Sinnott Memorial, a rental cabin group, auto service, emergency mechanical service, and information bureau. From the Rim Village a number of the most important trails in the park take off, including the spectacular trail down the crater wall to the lake shore, where launches and rowboats are available for pleasure trips and fishing excursions. This fine trail is 6 foot wide and on a holding grade of 12 percent, permitting use by people unaccustomed to much physical effort. Its length of 1½ miles can be covered on the down trip in 30 minutes, while the return trip requires approximately 45 minutes. The trail to the summit of Garfield Peak, directly overlooking the lake and giving a magnificent panorama of the Cascades, takes off from the Rim Village, as does a 4-mile trail to The Watchman, a trail to Annie Spring, and to park headquarters.


There are four campgrounds within Crater Lake National Park, all of them free to the public.

The Rim Campground is located in close proximity to the rim at the terminus of the highway. The camp is on a slight elevation in the 22 shelter of a fine stand of mountain hemlock, reminding the visitor that the altitude is over 7,000 feet. Eagle Crags, the jagged pinnacles of Garfield Peak, and Castle Crest tower above to the east. The designation of camp sites by logs, with a table, stove, and fireplace at each site, makes camping possible in a natural setting without detracting from the general beauty. Firewood is available at the camp. The water is pure, and there are sanitary conveniences, including hot water and hot and cold showers. The popularity of this campground has increased to such an extent that it has become necessary to limit camping to 30 days in this area.


Rostel photo

Located near the Rim Campground is the community house, with its great stone fireplace, where campers and visitors gather at night for recreation. It is open at all times for the pleasure and convenience of the public. Programs of an entertaining and instructive character are provided here every evening during the summer season.

The post office is at the lodge, and mail addressed to Crater Lake will reach its destination during the park season. Rental cabins may be secured at the housekeeping-accommodation office. A cafeteria and general store are maintained convenient to the camp.


Lange photo

The lower campground is situated near the Annie Spring checking station, on the highway 7 miles south of the Rim Camp. This is a beautiful well-sheltered, shaded site, and at a considerably lower altitude than the grounds near the rim. The camp has modern sanitation, with running water and wood available.

A camping place is located at Lost Creek, 3½ miles inside the east entrance of the park, at the junction of the highway entering the park and the Rim Road, not far from Wheeler Creek. These campgrounds are located 11 miles from the Rim Village, the road skirting the great heights south of the lake, and 2½ miles from Kerr Notch, offering a spectacular view of Crater Lake from the east rim.

For those visitors coming to the park by the south entrance there is Cold Spring Camp, 3 miles south of the Annie Spring checking station, 7 miles north of the entrance, and 9 miles from the lake rim. The camp is near the scenic Annie Creek Canyon, and is one of the earliest regular camping places used by explorers of the Crater Lake region. Godfrey’s Glen, with its colonnades and beautiful scenery, is located deep in the mysterious canyon not far from Cold Spring.


Grant photo



The Crater Lake National Park Co. offers all pay accommodations for visitors in the park. Rooms may be obtained at the Crater Lake Lodge, a large hotel on the rim of the lake, under American and European plans. Under the latter plan rates range from $3 for two in a room to $5.50 for one person. Twin beds, with bath, on the European plan are available at $7.50 for two persons; the American plan is $3 per person higher. Children under 8 years receive half rates. Housekeeping cabins in the Rim Village rent for $2 per night, without bedding, and $2.75 with bedding. A large stone building, containing the cafeteria, store, novelties, pictures, and photographic supplies, is nearby.

Motor transportation.—Daily automobile service from Medford and Klamath Falls to Crater Lake Lodge is maintained by the Crater Lake National Park Co. from July 1 to September 20. The round-trip cost is $8 per person and only round-trip tickets are sold. A visitor may enter by way of Medford and leave by way of Klamath Falls. The trip requires 2½ hours from the latter place and 3 hours from the former.

Launches and rowboats.—Rowboats may be hired for 50 cents per hour for one person and 25 cents for each additional person. Regularly scheduled trips are made daily by launch to the Phantom Ship and Wizard Island, about 15 miles, at a cost of $2 per person. Hourly trips are made to Wizard Island for $1 per person. Fishing tackle may be rented at the boat landing.

One of the popular attractions is a launch trip around the lake, leaving the boat landing at 9 o’clock each morning during the travel season. A ranger-naturalist describes to the launch passengers the points of geologic and historical interest. The trip has been carefully planned and is available at the cost of $2 per person.

This booklet is issued once a year and the rates mentioned herein may have changed slightly since issuance, but the latest rates approved by the Secretary of the Interior are on file with the superintendent and park operator.


Albright, Horace M., and Taylor, Frank J. Oh, Ranger! A book about the national parks. Illustrated.
Diller, J. S. Geological History of Crater Lake. An account of the formation of Crater Lake.
Diller, J. S., and Patton, H. B. Geology and Petrography of Crater Lake National Park. Professional Paper No. 3, U. S. Geological Survey. 1902. 167 pp.
Eaton, Walter Prichard:
Sky-line camps. 1922. 268 pp., illustrated. A record of wanderings in the northwestern mountains, from the Rockies in Glacier National Park to Crater Lake National Park, and to the Cascades in Washington and Oregon.
Boy Scouts at Crater Lake. 1922. 320 pp., illustrated. A story of Crater Lake National Park in the high Cascades.
Kane, J. F. Picturesque America. 1935. 256 pp., illustrated. Published by Frederick Gumbrecht, Brooklyn, N. Y. Crater Lake on pp. 27-29.
Kelley, Edgemond, and Chick. Three Scout Naturalists in the National Parks. A book by three Eagle Scouts who made a 12,000-mile field trip through the western national parks. Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1931.
Lapham, Stanton C. The souvenir book, The Enchanted Lake.
Mazama, The. Bulletin published by the “Mazamas.” (Mountaineering Club), of Portland, Oreg.
McArthur, Lewis A. Oregon Geographic Names. 450 pp., illustrated, map. Koke-Chapman Co., Eugene, Oreg. 1928.
Mills, Enos A. Your National Parks. 532 pp., illustrated. 1917. Crater Lake on pp. 137-147; 470-474.
Pernot, J. F. Forests of Crater Lake National Park. 40 pp., 26 illustrations. Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. 20 cents.
Rolfe, Mary A. Our National Parks, Book Two. A supplementary reader on the national parks for fifth- and sixth-grade students. Benj. H. Sanborn & Co., Chicago. 1928. Crater Lake on pp. 109-118.
Russell, I. C.:
Lakes of North America. 1895. 125 pp. Crater Lake on pp. 20-21.
Volcanoes of North America. 1897. 346 pp. Crater Lake on pp. 235-236.
Steel, W. G. The Mountains of Oregon. 1890. 112 pp. Crater Lake on pp. 12-33.
Victor, Frances Fuller. Atlantic Arisen. 1891. 412 pp. Crater Lake on pp. 179-183.
Wilbur, Ray Lyman, and Du Puy, William Atherton. Conservation in the Department of the Interior. Chapter on national parks, pp. 96-112. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 1931. Price $1.
Yard, Robert Sterling:
The Top of the Continent. 1917. 244 pp., illustrated. Crater Lake on pp. 140-160.
The Book of the National Parks. 1926. 440 pp., 74 illustrations, 14 maps and diagrams. Crater Lake on pp. 184-201.
Panoramic View of Crater Lake National Park. 16½ by 18 inches; scale, 1 mile to the inch, Gives excellent idea of configuration of surface as seen from the air. Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. 25 cents.
Map of Crater Lake National Park. About 14 by 19 inches; scale, 1 mile to inch. United States Geological Survey, Washington, D. C. 10 cents.


The Park Regulations are designed for the protection of the natural features and scenery as well as for the comfort and convenience of visitors. The following synopsis is for the general guidance of visitors, who are requested to assist the administration by observing the rules. Full regulations may be seen at the office of the superintendent and ranger station.

Fires.—Light carefully and only in designated campgrounds. Extinguish completely before leaving camp, even for temporary absence. Do not guess your fire is out—know it.

Camps.—Use designated campgrounds. Keep the campgrounds clean. Combustible rubbish shall be burned on camp fires, and all other garbage and refuse of all kinds shall be placed in garbage cans or pits provided for the purpose. Firewood is provided free of charge. Camping is restricted to 30 days.

Trash.—Do not throw paper, lunch refuse, film cartons, chewing-gum paper, or other trash over the rim, on walks, trails, roads, or elsewhere. Carry until you can burn in camp or place in receptacle.

Trees, Flowers, and Animals.—The destruction, injury, or disturbance in any way of the trees, flowers, birds, or animals is prohibited.

Noises.—Be quiet in camp after others have gone to bed. Many people come here for rest.

Automobiles.—Careful driving is required at all times for protection of yourself and other visitors. Your car must be equipped with good brakes, horn, and lights. Passing on curves is prohibited. Obey traffic rules. A gasoline and oil station is maintained on the main highway at park headquarters. Gasoline and oil may also be secured at the Rim Village. No other gasoline stations are available in the park. The fee for automobile permit is $1.

Dogs.—Dogs are prohibited in the park overnight and are not permitted in the rim concentration area. When not in an automobile, dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Warning About Bears.—Do not feed the bears from the hand; they will not harm you if not fed at close range. Bears will enter or break into automobiles if food that they can smell is left inside. They will also rob your camp of unprotected food supplies.

Fishing.—A limit of 12 fish per person per day has been set for lake angling. A catch of 20 fish is permitted in park streams. No fishing license is necessary.

Park Rangers.—The rangers are here to help and advise you. When in doubt ask a ranger. Rangers at the Information Bureau, park headquarters, and the several stations will be glad to help you plan your activity while in Crater Lake and to explain the regulations.

Complete rules and regulations are available at park headquarters.



1853—John Wesley Hillman and a group of prospectors discovered the lake and named it Deep Blue Lake.
1862—Chauncey Nye and party of prospectors, unaware of the previous discovery, accidentally visited the lake.
1865—Soldiers from Fort Klamath, without knowledge of previous discoveries, visited the lake and named it Lake Majesty.
1869—Jim Sutton, accompanied by David Linn and family, of Jacksonville, visited the lake and named it Crater Lake.
1873—First photograph, a daguerreotype, taken of Crater Lake by Peter Britt, southern Oregon pioneer.
1883—J. S. Diller, geologist, and Everett Hayden, of the United States Geological Survey, visited the lake.
1885—William Gladstone Steel, with Prof. Joseph Le Conte, Capt. Clarence E. Dutton, J. M. Brock, Jr., and others, visited Crater Lake. Mr. Steel suggested that a national park be established and a petition was sent to President Cleveland.
1886—The President issued a proclamation withdrawing 10 townships, including Crater Lake. Lake surveyed and sounded by the United States Geological Survey.
1888—First fish planted in Crater Lake by William Gladstone Steel.
1896—Mazamas visited Crater Lake and christened the ancestral mountain, of which only the caldera and lower slopes remain, Mount Mazama.
1902—Crater Lake National Park, created by congressional action, approved by President Theodore Roosevelt. First superintendent, W. F. Arant, appointed.
1907—First automobile driven to the rim of Crater Lake by Charles True, from Medford, Oreg. The Wocus, the first boat used in rendering a launch service to visitors, placed on the lake.
1912—Crater Lake Lodge, the oldest structure now existing in the rim area, was built.
1927—Crater Lake Ski Club organized. First annual ski races held.
1931—Sinnott Memorial completed and dedicated.
1932—The Watchman Observation Station completed.
1935—Park approach roads and highway to rim open for first time throughout winter.


Located 160 miles southwest of Crater Lake, the Oregon Caves National Monument in Josephine County, administered by the superintendent and staff of the Crater Lake National Park, is one of the most popular scenic attractions of Oregon. The caves, occurring at an elevation of 4,000 feet in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains, are easily reached over hard-surfaced highways.

The monument is 20 miles distant from the famous Redwood Highway, between Crescent City, Calif., and Grants Pass, Oreg. Motorists to the monument turn off at Caves Junction, a small settlement at the junction of the Redwood and Caves Highways.

The caverns, also known as the “Marble Halls of Oregon,” were discovered by a pioneer bear hunter, Elijah Davidson, in 1874 when a bruin sought refuge in their darkness. Davidson, intent on a kill, followed close behind, aided by a flickering pitch torch. He made a cursory exploration, followed by others in later years, but he never viewed the many wonders of their interior as seen today by the visiting public. There are several miles of winding passageways, large rooms, and scores of fantastic formations weird in their eerie beauty.

The monument, covering 480 acres, was established by proclamation of President Taft on July 12, 1909. During recent years numerous improvements, such as new trails, steel ladders, illumination, and removal of obstructions, have been completed to make the caves more accessible and visits more enjoyable.

A limestone, long ago altered to marble, is the soluble rock in which the passageways were formed. The caves offer outstanding underground beauty along a route which brings visitors past their most attractive formations, the result of constant water action for many thousands of years. These formations assume odd, grotesque, and fantastic shapes, resembling draperies, flowers, fruits, palaces, and gargoyles.

The rocks of the region are complexly folded, faulted, and metamorphosed shales, sandstones, and minor bodies of limestone, intruded by vast amounts of basic igneous rock, most of which is now serpentine. The whole is crushed and squeezed into intricate and apparently hopeless confusion from the structural and stratigraphic viewpoint.

Here and there in sparkling beauty are exquisite miniatures of Niagaras, Gardens of Eden, cotton blossoms, forests, and castles. A number of the 30 unusual features carry such strange names as Music Room, River Styx, Ghost Room, Dante’s Inferno, Paradise Lost, and Joaquin Miller’s Chapel. Paradise Lost is the most beautiful exhibit of the caves with its flowerlike stalactitic pendants adorning the walls of a room 60 feet high.

Countless stalagmites and stalactites telling the story of the patience of the ages are seen by visitors during the 2-hour guided trips through the caves. Especially is this true of one of the columns, which is a foot in diameter and was formed by the joining of a stalagmite and stalactite.

Monument visitors are offered hotel accommodations at the Oregon Caves Chateau near the cave’s entrance. Lodging and dining-room service is provided. From the floor of a canyon, the bark-covered six stories of the chateau attain complete harmony with the thick forests and moss-covered rock ledges of the surrounding country.

Cottages are available at the caves, as well as a store where novelties and pictures can be procured. Picnic grounds are maintained in the monument.

During the summer months from June 15 to September 1, frequent guided trips are offered. Guide service on more flexible schedules is available throughout the year. This service is furnished by the operator.

During the summer season, evening campfire programs are offered in the open air near the chateau, presenting talent from the Oregon colleges employed in the monument. Park rangers give short talks on the monument in conjunction with the musical programs.





Located in northern California, 105 miles south of Crater Lake, the Lava Beds National Monument, administered by the Crater Lake National Park staff since 1933, covers an area of 45,967 acres, noteworthy for volcanic, historical, and archeological features of distinctive importance.

The monument is usually open to travel the entire year, although winter storms are liable to make dirt roads in and approaching the area difficult to travel. The Lava Beds are 70 miles from Alturas, Calif., and 45 miles from Klamath Falls, Oreg., with the last few miles of each route served by passable dirt roads. It can also be reached over unimproved roads from Bieber, Calif., on the Redding-Alturas Highway, and Bartle via Medicine Lake.

A vast field for geologic study is included in this area where at intervals over a period of thousands of years volcanic activity seethed in lava rivers issuing forth from fissures scattered over the entire section. Geologically, the region is considered young, the age of the last lava flows and the last cinder cones being estimated at 500 years or slightly less.

Viewed from a distance, the monument appears as a fairly level terrain, with a northeasterly slope interspersed with symmetrical cinder cones. The lava rocks of the area are so porous and broken with shrinkage cracks that water from scant rainfall passes immediately underground, hence causing no erosion and leaving the monument features in the same condition as they were when first constructed. While volcanic activity has continued until modern times, the oldest formations are believed to date back some 20,000 to 60,000 years.

Except in the southern third of the monument where cindery pumice covers the surface, the visitor walks on solid lava. The small recent flows of billowy lava, or the pahoehoe type, have spread out like thick molasses or tar. It is in this type of lava that the caves and tunnels of the monument are found. These were formed by the hardening of the surface and sides of lava flows, becoming tubes when the molten lava core drained out. They range from a few feet to several miles in length and from 10 to 75 feet in height. Collapsed portions form long serpentlike trenches of broken rock 20 to 100 feet deep and from 50 to 250 feet wide, while narrow unbroken roof strips serve as natural bridges.

The caves being of volcanic origin, lava stalactites are in evidence in some of them. Ice formations, the result of constantly freezing temperatures and presence of moisture, are found in others. Over 300 caves have been 32 located in the monument, but of this number only 130 have been explored. A small number of the more interesting caves are open to the public. In exploring these caverns, visitors are given the services of guides without cost during the summer months.

Two types of symbolic Indian writings add a touch of mystery to the monument, suggesting the presence of ancient aborigines many centuries ago. One type is made up of paintings (pictographs) on the walls of a number of the caves and sides of natural bridges. The other type is composed of carvings (petroglyphs) confined entirely to rocky bluffs where the material was sufficiently soft to be cut out by stone tools. The petroglyphs, located in an isolated portion of the monument, are deeply carved and have successfully withstood the ravages of time.

Historical features of the monument recall the only major Indian war ever fought on California soil and one of the most costly of its kind in United States history. In 1872-73 a small band of Modoc Indians under the leadership of Keintpoos, commonly known as Captain Jack, clashed with a body of United States cavalry just north of the California line following a rampage during which several settlers were killed. A short time later, the Modocs established themselves in a natural lava fortress in the northern part of the monument where they withstood a superior force of soldiers for 5 months.

During this time several peace negotiations were attempted, reaching their climax in an ill-fated peace parley a short distance from the Indian stronghold. A number of Indians, including Captain Jack, gathered with a peace commission, headed by General R. E. S. Canby, commander of the besieging soldiers. During the truce parley, the Indians without warning killed General Canby and one other member of the commission, after which the Modocs fled to their stronghold. A cross, erected by Canby’s soldiers on the spot, still stands.

It was not long after the killings that the Indians were subdued, marking the end of Indian warfare in this section. The stronghold today is much as it was over 60 years ago. Points of interest are plainly marked; bleaching bones and rotting bits of leather are reminiscent of the last stand of the Modocs.

Interesting to monument visitors also is the presence of wildlife. During winter and spring seasons, mule deer can be seen in large numbers, with 20 to 30 individual herds remaining in the area until the arrival of warmer summer weather. Hundreds of birds are observed, particularly valley quail and an abundance of raptores. Large numbers of small mammals are seen throughout the year. Lava Reds bighorn formerly roamed the monument but were exterminated by unrestricted hunting and competition for the range by sheep and cattle 20 years ago. However, their trails are still visible.


Administrative headquarters of the monument are maintained at Indian Well, where a park ranger is in charge. A small museum of old war relics and volcanic specimens is maintained here. A campground is nearby. No gasoline, food, or other accommodations are available in the monument but these can be procured within 20 miles of the area at Merrill, Oreg. or Tide Lake, Calif.





ABRAHAM LINCOLN, KY.—Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Established 1916; 0.17 square mile.
ACADIA, MAINE.—Combination of mountain and seacoast scenery. Established 1919; 24.91 square miles.
BRYCE CANYON, UTAH.—Canyons filled with exquisitely colored pinnacles. Established 1928; 56.23 square miles.
CARLSBAD CAVERNS, N. MEX.—Beautifully decorated limestone caverns. Established 1930; 15.75 square miles.
CRATER LAKE, OREG.—Beautiful lake in crater of extinct volcano. Established 1902; 250.52 square miles.
FORT McHENRY, MD.—Its defense in 1814 inspired writing of Star-Spangled Banner. Established 1925; 0.07 square mile.
GENERAL GRANT, CALIF.—General Grant Tree and grove of Big Trees. Established 1890; 3.98 square miles.
GLACIER, MONT.—Unsurpassed alpine scenery; 200 lakes: 60 glaciers. Established 1910; 1,537.98 square miles.
GRAND CANYON, ARIZ.—World’s greatest example of erosion. Established 1919; 1,008 square miles.
GRAND TETON, WYO.—Most spectacular portion of Teton Mountains. Established 1929; 150 square miles.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS, N.C.-TENN.—Massive mountain uplift; magnificent forests. Established for protection 1930; 643.26 square miles.
HAWAII, ISLANDS OF HAWAII AND MAUI.—Interesting volcanic areas. Established 1916; 248.54 square miles.
HOT SPRINGS, ARK.—Forty-seven hot springs reserved by the Federal Government in 1832 to prevent exploitation of waters. Made national park in 1921; 1.54 square miles.
LASSEN VOLCANIC, CALIF.—Only recently active volcano in United States proper. Established 1916; 163.32 square miles.
MAMMOTH CAVE, KY.—Interesting caverns, including spectacular onyx cave formation. Established for protection 1936; 54.09 square miles.
MESA VERDE, COLO.—Most notable cliff dwellings in United States. Established 1906; 80.21 square miles.
MOUNT McKINLEY, ALASKA.—Highest mountain in North America. Established 1917; 3,030.46 square miles.
MOUNT RAINIER, WASH.—Largest accessible single-peak glacier system. Established 1899; 377.78 square miles.
PLATT, OKLA.—Sulphur and other springs. Established 1902; 1.32 square miles.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN, COLO.—Peaks from 11,000 to 14,255 feet in heart of Rockies. Established 1915; 405.33 square miles.
SEQUOIA, CALIF.—General Sherman, largest and possibly oldest tree in world; outstanding groves of Sequoiagi gigantea. Established 1890; 604 square miles.
SHENANDOAH, VA.—Outstanding scenic area in Blue Ridge. Established 1935; 282.14 square miles.
WIND CAVE, S. DAK.—Beautiful cavern of peculiar formations. No stalactites or stalagmites. Established 1903; 19.75 square miles.
YELLOWSTONE, WYO.-MONT.-IDAHO.—World’s greatest geyser area and an outstanding game preserve. Established 1872; 3,437.88 square miles.
YOSEMITE, CALIF.—Valley of world-famous beauty; spectacular waterfalls; magnificent High Sierra country. Established 1890; 1,176.16 square miles.
ZION, UTAH.—Zion Canyon, 1,500 to 2,500 feet deep. Spectacular coloring. Established 1919; 134.91 square miles.




November 1, 1937

Back Cover.

Transcriber’s Notes