A Sublime Spectacle – Across the Canyon

A Lake with a Wondrous Story--Crater Lake, Oregon.
Thousands of years ago there stood, where this conical island now rises, a mountain to which the name Mount Mazoma has been given. It was only one of many great volcanoes in this range, among the others being Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Lassen, Mount Hood, and Mount Shasta. By their vomitings of immense volumes of lava these volcanoes built up the Cascade Mountains. In an eruption Mountain Rainier blew its own top off. Mount Mazoma did something even more amazing. Its outpourings of lava opened such a huge cavern beneath its center that its entire top fell in and it literally swallowed itself.

But the volcano was still active. It cast up two or three peaks within the great crater formed by the collapse of the main cone. As the volcano cooled, the crater filled with water, forming what is now called Crater Lake. We see before us, in the midst of the lake, one of the small peaks, name Wizard Island, which itself has a crater 150 feet deep.

Crater Lake is round in general outline, with a diameter of about 5 1/2 miles and a depth in some places of 2,000 feet. It has no visible outlet but its waters are believed to escape underground, emerging a few miles away in the Klamath River.

This remarkable body of water was discovered by a party of gold hunters in 1853, and the Crater Lake National Park, comprising 249 square miles, was created by act of Congress in 1902. Hotel accommodations now exist there and fishing is permitted, the lake having been stocked with rainbow trout. Hunting in the park, however, is forbidden.

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