Nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon lies a natural wonder of breathtaking beauty: Crater Lake National Park. With its deep blue waters, towering cliffs, and rugged wilderness, Crater Lake invites families to embark on an unforgettable journey through one of America’s most iconic landscapes. Here are eight reasons why Crater Lake is the perfect destination for families:

Rim Drive: Begin your adventure with a scenic drive along Rim Drive, where you can enjoy stunning views of the lake from various overlooks and viewpoints. Stop at Discovery Point, Watchman Overlook, and other scenic spots for panoramic vistas and family photo opportunities.

Cleetwood Cove Trail: Descend into the depths of the caldera on the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only trail that leads to the shore of Crater Lake. Kids will love the thrill of hiking down to the water’s edge and dipping their toes in the cool, clear waters.

Wizard Island: Take a boat tour to Wizard Island, a cinder cone rising from the depths of Crater Lake. Explore the island’s hiking trails, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and marvel at the panoramic views from the summit.

Pumice Castle: Marvel at the towering spires of Pumice Castle, a unique rock formation located along the northern shore of Crater Lake. Admire the intricate patterns and textures carved by centuries of volcanic activity.

Phantom Ship: Cruise past Phantom Ship, a rocky island resembling a ghostly sailing vessel, on a boat tour of Crater Lake. Learn about the island’s geology and history as you sail past its towering cliffs and rugged coastline.

Vidae Falls: Hike to Vidae Falls, a picturesque waterfall located near the park’s visitor center. Follow the short, family-friendly trail through lush forest and enjoy the refreshing mist as the falls cascade down the rocky cliffs.

Garfield Peak Trail: Challenge your family to a hike up Garfield Peak Trail, where panoramic views of Crater Lake await at the summit. Watch as the sun sets over the lake, casting a warm glow on the surrounding landscape.

Junior Ranger Program: Engage the whole family in Crater Lake’s Junior Ranger Program, where kids can learn about the park’s geology, ecology, and history through fun and interactive activities. Upon completion, they’ll receive a badge and a sense of pride in protecting this natural treasure.

With its stunning vistas, outdoor adventures, and opportunities for exploration, Crater Lake National Park offers families a chance to connect with nature and create memories that will last a lifetime. Pack your sense of adventure, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through the majestic landscapes of Crater Lake.


Crater Lake, the deepest lake in America, was the seventh and final park during our summer vacation. It also was the most picturesque. The reflections of cliffs, rocks, and trees on the sapphire blue water were unbeatable. We started our exploration of this attractive terrain by hiking the Mt. Scott Trail. It was an arduous ascent….

Canceled July 29, 2011