Once mid-March came and we realized how much COVID-19 would have an effect on not only daily life but vacations (read: a babymoon), we kept our fingers crossed that things would open up enough to take a little road trip while it would still be comfortable for me to travel. Thankfully, by the second half of June our top destination pick opened up for visitors: Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. This has been on our list of PNW things to do for years and the time had finally come.
We decided on a 5 day trip: Seattle to Eugene, Eugene to Crater Lake, two nights at Crater Lake Lodge, and a night in the Mt. Hood area on our way back to Seattle. We stopped for lunch in Portland at Pine State Biscuits, always a favorite for us. Eugene was a bust but a good almost-halfway stop for the seven hour drive. On the way to Mt. Hood we stopped in Bend which is so adorable and charming and would be a great way to spend weekend. We had lunch at Deschutes Brewery and took a little walk around town before continuing on to Mt. Hood.
Crater Lake was a great visit. It is a caldera, which means that a volcanic explosion thousands of years ago (I believe this one was around 7,700 years ago) created a crater that filled with water and formed this beautiful lake. It is the deepest lake in the United States. When things are operating normally, there are boat tours and swimming areas but all of that was closed for the Summer of 2020, like so many other things.
We stayed at Crater Lake Lodge and had views of the lake from our room. The lodge itself was very disappointing, especially for how expensive it is. It is very old and hasn’t been updated and the staff at check in didn’t convey much information about the property (on box lunches, housekeeping, etc). We had the buffet dinner there one night and it fit the theme: okay food but very overpriced. We mostly took it easy while there due to me being 29 weeks pregnant but we did do the 2.2 mile Discovery Point Hike. It definitely had the best views of the lake that we saw and I would describe it as “easily moderate.” I had to take lots of breaks, again, more than I normally would have had to due to being pregnant. I was so tired and so hungry at the end that the simple fish and chips lunch I had afterwards at the Annie Creek Restaurant will probably go down as one of my most satisfying meals.
We stopped for a quick overnight at Mt. Hood to break up the drive back. Thanks to the suggestion from the person at the front desk at our hotel we found great views from White River West Sno-Park and the Trillium Lake Dam. This was also the first trip with my new camera, Canon’s mirrorless EOS R. I had a lot of fun getting to know it better and am really happy with the pictures.