The Creation of Crater Lake


America’s deepest lake tells many magnificent stories.

Eight thousand years ago, if you stood on the shores of Klamath Lake in Southern Oregon, the horizon would have looked strikingly different than it does today.

A snowcapped volcano would have towered over the forested hills, nearly a thousand feet taller than Mt. Hood. To geologists, this was Mt. Mazama. But the Native Americans who lived around Klamath Lake called the peak by other names such as Moyaina, which translates to “big mountain.”

The cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Mazama created what we now call Crater Lake — and accounts of the dramatic event live on in both the geologic record and in Native American legends.

Read the full story at Travel Oregon.

Mt. Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago, leaving behind Crater Lake. (Credit: Zainubrazvi via Wikimedia Commons)