|Panorama of Crater Lake|
|Pumice Castle (orange shape on right wall) Overlook|
Crater Lake rests inside a caldera formed about 7,700 years ago when Mt. Mazama collapsed following a major eruption. Later eruptions formed Wizard Island. The eruption of Mt. Mazama is thought to have been the largest eruption in North America in the last 640,000 years.
As the afternoon progressed, the weather became wilder, darker, and colder especially at the Phantom Ship overlook. Phantom Ship is made of 400,000 year old erosion-resistant lava. It looks small from the overlook, but it is about the same height as a 16-story building.
|Sun Notch Overlook Trail|
|Phantom Ship from the Sun Notch Overlook|
|Wizard Island shrouded by low clouds|
|Pinnacles Overlook and Trail|
The Plaikni Falls Trail is along the same road as the Pinnacles Trail. The source of the water is snow melt. It was beginning to snow again as we got back to the car.
After freezing our butts off for 2 days, we spent our third day exploring the lower elevations, Ft Klamath and Chiloquin, south of Crater Lake. We never saw the sun, but it was warmer.
We left Oregon and their clouds behind and returned to sunny California with a side trip to Lava Beds National Monument where there were no clouds. We explored lava-tube caves, hiked to the top of a cinder cone ranger fire lookout station, and visited Petroglyph Point with its petroglyphs created between 2,000-4,000 years ago by the area's native peoples.
Several hundred thousand years ago Lake Modoc covered the Klamath-Tulelake Basin. Magma that rose through a crack or fault in the earth's surface erupted explosively when it hit the waters of Lake Modoc. The exploded material fell back into the lake creating a soft volcanic tuff island that is now known as Petroglyph Point. This site is also central to a Modoc Creation Story.
The artists who made these petroglyphs would have journeyed to the island in canoes. The level of the ancient lake is visible on the wall of this now stranded island. The water eventually receded far beyond this former island, and subsequent visitors have painted the petroglyphs, shot at them, and/or scratched their own names into this wall. There are even a few Japanese characters etched into the rock as this site is very near the Tule Lake Internment Camp. The Park Service has a fence along the wall to provide some minimal protection.