Camper Trips, Oregon

Crater Lake and Deschutes National Forest

PNW Trip – Day 3

July 1, 2019

We woke up at our camp near Eight Dollar Mountain and, after breakfast and breaking camp, headed east on Hwy 199. The plan was to spend the day in Crater Lake and see some waterfalls along the way. Our first stop was at the Mill and Barr Creek Falls Trailhead. The trailhead has a little parking lot with picnic tables, but no restrooms. There are two waterfalls (Barr and Mill) and an area with giant boulders.

After hiking back to the camper we continued on to Crater Lake. If you have an America the Beautiful Pass, bring it, it gets you into this national park for free! We stopped first at the visitor center to get information about driving the perimeter of the lake. Unfortunately, we found out that although it was July more than half of the road was closed due to snow. We then drove as far east as we could to Phantom Ship Overlook. It was a quick 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot to the lake. We had not seen the lake yet so we closed our eyes for the last couple steps and opened them…

The one thing we did not anticipate were the mosquitoes! Giant mosquitoes! We could only stand still enough for a couple pictures and then had to retreat back to our camper. We made our way west with the hope of finding a quiet spot to have lunch with a view. One tip we learned from checking out Crater Lake, skip the first and second viewing point. Instead stop at the third or fourth. Trust us. We stopped at the second one and while there was less of a fight for a parking spot with view, had we been more patient and stopped at the third and fourth spot, we could have had the crater-front views all to ourselves!

After leaving Crater Lake, we made the 1 1/2 hour drive toward Bend with the hopes of finding a place for the night. I scoured the iOverlander app for a spot and found one that sounded promising a “Beautiful Overlook“. It took some driving around the forest, and many wrong turns, but when we found it, it was exquisite!

The next day we slept in, made some coffee, and bathed in the morning sunshine, taking in the 360 degrees of beauty. Henri’s eyes peeled to Squirrel TV.

And then around 10 am the sweet soothing sounds of gunfire started echoing off the hills… if you have a dog you know what happens next. Our poor Henri started shaking incessantly in fear, until we could pack up and head out. But it was a good reminder that noon was near and we needed to head on to our next adventure in Bend. Let the beer tasting begin!

Trip Logistics:

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