Hello! Hello! I hope you are all doing great friends! 4th July is already few days away but I hope you all got to spend some relaxing & fun time with your friends and family – with lots of good food going on. Since we are here in San Francisco we figured out, together with Thanksgiving , the week of 4th July is the most expensive one to make any traveling plans, but if that happened to be the time your company gives you one week off ( in this case Patrick’s company) you have to work with it. A road trip seamed to be very appropriate for the Independence Day so we rented a car and drove all the way up to Portland and Oregon Coast. It has been for a long time on our want-to-visit list and one week felt like a good amount of time to see and discover. Some of our friends have done the trip already and each of them entrusted us to definitely make a stop at Crater Lake, Oregon. And I, my friends, also entrust you, if you ever go to Portland to take the time and drive to the Cater Lake.

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It’s one of those places on earth were words cannot do the justice in describing how beautiful something is. Just imagine the most clear blue water you have ever seen captured in this thousand of years huge, old volcano crater and surrounded by amazing evergreens. I hope you really get the chance to see it yourself. As snow seams to be very persistent on this elevation, the drive around the lake was closed, but you could easy drive up to the main viewing point, hike around, have a picnic and just soak in the beauty of this spot. Swimming is also allowed, but if you want to make a dip you would have to walk down a pretty steep trail for about 45 minutes. Of course, freezing cold water awaits you.

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We spend about 2 hours there and continued our way to Portland in the noon to arrive around 5pm. For me it felt like a long drive as we were driving on windy streets and also through endless forest. Oregon has soooo much forest, I have never seen so many trees in my life. Amazing. But it can definitely be exhausting that’s why we drove up, stayed overnight, rested and visited Crater Lake early in the morning next day. I can only recommend that. Take your time and don’t rush to get to Crater Lake on the same day.


There are some cute places to stay at. Check in, take a shower and enjoy some food and drinks in the middle of Oregon forest. It’s impressive. We stayed at Prospect Historic Motel, it was about 15 minutes drive to Crater Lake. Cute, old, but charmingly motel with a reasonable prices.  We did a mistake not to book a room in advance so we ended up calling every hotel in the area just to get “sorry, we are booked out”. Keep in mind summer months are busy. Always! No matter holiday or not. If you are on the budget try definitely Jo’s Motel or Union Creek Resort. Both are super nice and have great Yelp reviews. Union Creek was booked out, but my favorite as they are in the middle of the woods and you can rent small cottages. Sure, nothing fancy but for one night totally enough.


In the morning we grabbed some breakfast at Beckie’s at Union Creek Resort – a rustic restaurant with ok food but great location and cabin feel interior. I think it’s the only chance to have any bites before Crater Lake so go for it. We strolled a little bit the are around the Union Creek as there are some nice paths to see the river before we drove up to Crater Lake.

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crater-lake-1 Here is a small itinerary of our trip to Crater Lake in case you are planning to visit.


– We started from SF pretty late, around 11pm. 

– As the World Cup was going on and german team was playing that day we made a pit-stop on the Interstate 5 at Granzella’s to watch the game – a really huge shop and restaurant/sports bar. I liked this place, so original american and the food was pretty good, too. Good for lunch. 

– And then road for miles. 

– I tried to get a room at this spots as all of them had pretty good reviews or were recommended by friends: 

On the Budget…
We stayed at Prospect Historic Motel | 391 Mill Creek Drive , Prospect | Phone: 541-560-3664 | Yelp

Jo’s Motel  | 52851 Hgwy 62, Fort Klamath | Phone: 541-381-2234 | Yelp

Union Creek Resort | 56484 Hgwy 62, Oregon | Phone: 541-560-3565 | Yelp

Pricey, but directly at the Crater Lake…
Crater Lake Lodges | 565 Rim Village Drive, Crater Lake | Phone: 541-594-2255 | Yelp


– Breakfast at Beckie’s | 56484 Hgwy 62, Oregon | Phone: 541-560-3565 | Yelp

– Crater Lake for about 4 hours

– Drive to Portland, about 4 hours

Lunch:          $30
Hotel:           $95
Breakfast:    $25
Park fee:     $10
Total:        $160

I hope this helps to give you an insight and plan your trip. If you have any questions let me know and if you have already been there, would love to hear your thoughts!  crater-lake-3

11 Responses
  • Nan
    July 14, 2014

    Oh my gosh these images are breathtaking! Looks like such an amazing spot!
    xo Nan
    Simply Elegant Blog

  • Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
    July 14, 2014

    Beautiful pictures! I haven’t been to Crater Lake since I was a kid. Crossing my fingers my brother decides to get married up near there sometime this year so we’ll have another excuse to go;)

  • Tiffany
    July 15, 2014

    Wow…this are remarkably beautiful :)

    xx, Tiffany |

    • Ana Kamin
      July 28, 2014

      Thank you so much Tiffany! Crater Lake is really amazing!

  • Simone Anne
    July 17, 2014

    Gosh, this is gorgeous!! What an amazing place. I need to go and visit!

  • DesignBreak
    July 22, 2014

    Oh my, Ana… Your pics are beyond magical.
    So so blue and enchanting!

    • Ana Kamin
      July 28, 2014

      Thank you! The blue was really unbelievable!

  • Taylor rae
    July 23, 2014

    Goodnes these are amazing pictures! Great post.

    • Ana Kamin
      July 28, 2014

      Taylor thanks! :) So happy you like it!

  • Cassie
    July 30, 2014

    Hi Anna, Garrick Ramirez ( just told me about your blog as we were talking about Northern California travel bloggers (I’m in San Jose) and I came over to check out your site. You have such gorgeous photos!

    We tried to go to Crater Lake a few years ago (in the winter) and we were snowed out… I’m dying to go back and see it for myself!

    • Ana Kamin
      July 31, 2014

      Hi Cassie, thank you so much for stopping by. :) And thanks for the compliment about my pictures. Makes me happy. I’m glad to discover you blog too, maybe we can also connect in person someday. And yeah, you HAVE to go back and visit Crater Lake, it’s an unbelievable place!