Lia woke up at 4 am this morning. Luckily, she finally went back to sleep around 5:30 am. After everyone got up and around, we headed out pretty quickly. The kids were starving and the continental breakfast consisted of coffee, donuts, and muffins, so we headed to McDonald’s and got them some pancakes. After breakfast, we made a quick trip into Target to pick up bug spray and groceries.
After that, we decided to go visit Crater Lake. Max was pretty stoked because it’s one of the landmarks in his Stack the States game. I booked us a cabin for the night in Fort Klamath, which is about 25 miles South of Crater Lake. So, we decided to head to the North entrance of the park.
We followed the two lane highway (OR-58/US-97) through forest after forest and past gorgeous creeks and lakes. We pulled off at a turnout for awhile and took a little hike down to the lake. We drove for awhile longer, and stopped at Salt Creek Falls. The kids thought the waterfall was awesome!
We continued driving toward Crater Lake. It wasn’t until we made it ALL the way to the North entrance that we discovered that the North entrance was closed. Grrr! I was SO mad! Maybe it’s because we are fairly spontaneous and don’t make lots of plans ahead of time that these things happen to us a lot. Either way, it’s frustrating!
We figured since we had driven so far already, we HAD to go to Crater Lake. So we drove for another hour to the South entrance, which thankfully was open. We even lucked out on paying to get in because today was one of the 3 days out of the year that it’s free to get in the park.
We drove into the park and found out that it was pretty much completely closed, except for one lookout spot right inside the entrance and a 1-mile stretch of the West rim. I was super bummed because I was hoping we could actually get down to the lake and put our feet in the water. I overheard one of the park rangers saying that they got 56 feet of snow last winter, which is why most of the park is still closed. Oh well. Either way, it was absolutely stunning! The pictures don’t even do it justice.
After we finished up at Crater Lake, we headed for Forth Klamath and the Crater Lake Resort. I booked the cabin solely because they had free canoe usage for guests. When we arrived, I found out that we could actually camp there for $80 less than what the cabin cost. They were super nice and let us switch to camping.
They recommended that we grab dinner (we were starving by this time!) at Melita’s in Chiloquin. We headed there and ate a quick dinner. Then we headed back to the campground to get our tent set up.
It was seriously a mosquito heaven and the kids were tired and whiny about the bugs. We got them ready for bed and tossed them in the tent. The sun doesn’t set here until almost 9:30 pm, so it was hard for them to go to sleep. They finally did and I’m glad. I’m hoping they’ll be less grumpy tomorrow! We didn’t get a chance to take advantage of the free canoes yet, but we’re planning on doing that first thing in the morning.
Crater Lake – 4 stars: This would totally be five stars (because it was awesome!) except for the fact that I’m still mad about not finding out the North entrance was closed. The lake was absolutely stunning and I would love to visit again someday when the whole park is open and we could do one of their boat tours to the island.
Crater Lake Resort – 4 stars: The internet sucks. I couldn’t even upload pictures for the blog. And there were like a bajillion (yes, that’s a real number 😉 mosquitos. But they were super nice AND had canoes for guests to use for free.
Things I learned today:
1. Do not assume that snow has melted and a park will be open just because it’s June.
2. Groceries are WAY more expensive in Oregon than at home… even at Target.
3. Camping 25 feet from the road means you get to listen to cars drive by all night.
4. It gets pretty chilly here at night! I’m glad I brought the kids’ fleece footie pajamas.
5. It is difficult, but possible, to get footie pajamas on three sleeping kids.
6. Our kids are giant babies when it comes to bugs. Good thing we borrowed this tent instead of buying one because I don’t foresee a lot of camping in our future.
PS. Like following along with our road trips and want to have a fun adventure of your own? Check out our awesome Road Trip in a Box kit. It has everything you’ll need plus our step by step guide on road trippin’ with kids 🙂