Phantom Ship





CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, on the crest of the Cascade Range in Southern Oregon, has a high place among the Nation's most scenic wonderlands. At Crater Lake visitors observe beauty in its truest sense and experience a profound inspirational appeal. Tranquillity now prevails where once relentless volcanic power was displayed.

The lake rests in the 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, 1,996 feet deep, covers an area of 20 square miles, and has a shoreline of 20 miles, with multi-colored cliffs rising 500 to 2,000 feet above It.

Trails lead to high points on the rim and to the shore of the lake. Launches and rowboats are available for scenic trips and trout fishing. Daily launch trips are scheduled around the lake and to Wizard Island. A paved road extends around the crater rim, a distance of 35 miles, presenting scores of enthralling views of the lake. The ever-changing color of lava cliffs and blue water are beautiful beyond description.

Crater Lake National Park, established May 22, 1902, embraces an area of 250.52 square miles.


History says that the Klamath Indians knew of, but seldom visited, Crater Lake before its discovery by white men. The Indians regarded the lake and the mountain as the battleground of the gods.

Crater Lake was discovered on June 12, 1853, by John Wesley Hillman, a young prospector leading a party in search of the "Lost Cabin Mine." Having failed in their efforts, Hillman and his party returned to Jacksonville, a mining camp in the Rogue River Valley, and reported their discovery which they had named Deep Blue Lake.

This incident was apparently forgotten in the excitement of gold discoveries and Indian wars. On October 21, 1862, Chauncey Nye, leading a party of prospectors from eastern Oregon to Jacksonville, happened upon the lake. Thinking that they had made a discovery, they named it Blue Lake. A third "discovery" was made on August 1, 1865, by two soldiers stationed at Fort Klamath, who called it Lake Majesty. In 1869 this name was changed to Crater Lake by visitors from Jacksonville.

Before 1885 Crater Lake had few visitors and was not widely known. On August 15 of that year William Gladstone Steel, after 15 years of effort to get to the lake, stood for the first time on its rim. Inspired by its beauty, Judge Steel conceived the idea of preserving it as a national park. For 17 years, with much personal sacrifice, he devoted time and energy to this end. Success was realized when the park was established on May 22, 1902. Steel devoted the remainder of his life to development of the park, serving as its second superintendent and later as park commissioner, which office he held until his death in 1934.

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