Park History

Park History


A Cherished History

Crater Lake National Park is a place where you can experience diverse wilderness in a setting of breathtaking beauty. More than 7,000 years ago, a fierce eruption shook the 12,000-foot-tall Mount Mazama, triggering the mountain's collapse. The area's Klamath tribes witnessed the volcano's eruption, and their histories include many stories about how Crater Lake and its features were created. 

In the hundreds of years after the eruption, rainfall and snowfall filled the crater and formed the lake. No streams run into or out of the lake – its levels depend entirely on precipitation, evaporation, and seepage. At nearly 2,000 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. That depth, combined with the water’s purity, gives the lake its remarkable deep blue color.

On May 22, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the legislation that created the sixth national park in the United States, Crater Lake National Park. When you visit today, you can explore the fascinating volcanic features that date back to the lake’s formation.