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Discovery Point Trail
3 Photosets

2018-06-30  
2017-04-17  
2009-07-17  
mini location map2017-04-17
21 by photographer avatarchumley
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Discovery Point TrailSouth, OR
South, OR
Snowshoeing avatar Apr 17 2017
chumley
Snowshoeing3.85 Miles 396 AEG
Snowshoeing3.85 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   1.91 mph
396 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Crater Lake is one of those iconic spots that just demands a visit in person. But like many such spots, it's just a little bit out of the way.

With a nice trip through Oregon planned well in advance, we were a little bit disheartened in the days prior because the forecast was abysmal. Crater Lake is obscured by clouds and fog about 50% of the time in winter, so it's certainly easy to show up there and not get to see anything at all.

With that in mind we considered skipping the long drive south, but ultimately decided to go for it. If nothing else we would go for an enjoyable snowshoe in the woods, which is still a nice way to spend a few hours even if there's no view of Crater Lake!

Despite the mountain being visibly socked in as we approached, and rain turning to snow as we ascended the 4000 feet that the road climbs-- into a "tunnel" of snow banks carved 15-feet high-- a little magic must have been on our side because when we arrived at the rim, we were greeted with stunning views of the deep blue Crater Lake along with a winter wonderland of snow and clouds overhead.
:y:

Snowshoes on, we headed out. I noticed that the broken trail followed the roadway rather than the GPS track of the hiking trail I had on my Route Scout. This made sense because the huge cornices are unstable and the hiking trail followed too closely to the edge of the rim for safe travel on snow. We followed the tracks of a few who had skied or snowshoed ahead of us until we reached Discovery Point, after which we were breaking our own trail. We didn't go much farther before turning back, enjoying the awe-inspiring vistas once again.

About 15 minutes before getting back to the truck, it started snowing fiercely. The wind was strong and visibility reduced to near zero. The lake was gone, exactly as we had thought it might be before we arrived. So we were lucky to have hit the perfect window of opportunity for a couple of hours!

Interesting note: NPS reports that about 80 skiers and 40 snowshoers attempt the 31 mile loop of the lake each winter. Most plan on 3 days, but few make it without an extra day or two due to inclement weather, avalanche danger, lack of marked route, etc. Sounds like an adventure to me!
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