World’s Most Beautiful Lakes

Posted on June 4, 2011


12 Beautiful Lakes: Crater Lake, Oregon

These 12 lakes go to all the right extremes — highest,deepest, clearest — and showcase nature at its most spectacular. Soak up theviews from a boat, a cable car, a trailhead or a castle tower.

Text by Beth Collins, Budget Travel.

Thousands of years ago, the top of a 12,000-foot-high volcano in the CascadeRange exploded. The massive pit left behind became known as Crater Lake, the centerpiece of a national park in southernOregon that displays nature at its rawest and most powerful.Forests of towering evergreens and 2,000-foot-high cliffs surround the lake,where extraordinarily deep waters — at 1,943 feet, it's the deepest lake in theUnited States — yield an intense sapphire-blue hue. If winter hiking andcross-country skiing aren't your thing, wait until early July to visit, whenthe roads have been plowed and the trails cleared. Rim Drive, a 33-mile roadthat encircles the lake, has picture-perfect views from all sides. For a closerlook, follow the mile-long Cleetwood Cove Trail to the shore. Brace yourselfbefore diving in: The water temperature rarely rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

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