Experience an annular solar eclipse from the edge of North America’s deepest lake
Observing October 14, 2023’s annular solar eclipse while exploring the deepest lake in America is an alluring idea indeed. At 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America and it’s famous for its deep blue color. What’s more, the eclipse will be relatively low in the sky as seen from Oregon, so a ‘ring of fire‘ will hang above the southeastern rim.
You could stand on Watchman Peak (or Watchman Trailhead) to see the eclipse 19 degrees above Wizard Island in the lake.
What better way to spend the 4 minutes and 23 seconds of annularity, right?
This adventure won’t be as simple as it seems. Crater Lake National Park is situated at an elevation of 6,178 feet / 1,883 meters, and as the month of October approaches, there is a possibility of early snowfall. That could lead to the closure of North Entrance, West Rim Drive, and East Rim Drive.
Even if the roads are closed, the Rim Village Visitor Center will still be accessible, from where you can witness the ‘ring of fire’ above Garfield Peak. To be on the safe side you could take the Garfield Peak Hike, which is a 3.5-mile (5.6 kilometers) trek, to get a view from 8,054 feet / 2,455 meters.
It’s also worth noting that the weather at Crater Lake National Park can be unpredictable, with October 14 being cloudy 41% of the time since 2000 according to TimeAndDate.com. Thus, your chances of catching a clear glimpse of this natural phenomenon are in the balance.
Either way, you’ll have to arrive at Crater Lake in the morning because Mazama Campground closes in late September and Crater Lake Lodge closes in early October.
Should you watch the eclipse from Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park? It’s riskier than many places in the southwest US, but if the sky is clear it will be a spectacular sight indeed.
Image credit: Jamie Carter © 2022