By the Numbers: Crater Lake National Park
Oregon's Crater Lake National Park, By the Numbers
Recreational visits to Crater National Park in 2008.
Total acreage of the park. That’s a little more than 286 square miles, including the 20.42 square miles accounted for by six mile-wide Crater Lake.
Estimated maximum elevation (feet above sea level) of Mounta Mazama, the stratovolcano that collapsed about 7,700 years ago to form the caldera that Crater Lake sits in. The highest elevation on the caldera rim (Hillman Peak) is now 8,151 feet, so roughly 4,000 feet of ancient Mount Mazama has gone missing.
Elevation (feet above sea level) of Mount Scott, the highest peak in the park. If you’d like to climb it, there’s a five-mile (roundtrip) trail that leads to the top
Maximum depth of the lake, in feet, as recorded by a multibeam survey in July 2000. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh-deepest lake in the world.
Inches of snowfall in a typical winter. That’s over 44 feet, and it makes Crater Lake one of the snowiest places in the world where snowfall is carefully measured. Deep snow curtails access to most park attractions from October through May.
Approximate number of years it took for Crater Lake to fill to its present level after the caldera was formed. The lake has no inlets or outlets. Precipitation and snowmelt supply water to the lake, and evaporation and seepage keep it from getting any deeper. The lake level has varied just 16 feet (less than one percent) during the last century.
Miles of trails in the park.
Transparency of the lake water, in feet, as measured with a secchi disk (a black-and-white disk lowered into the water on a cable). In 1969, and again in 1997, a secchi disk lowered into the lake could still be seen at a depth of 144 feet below the surface. Light penetrates even further than that, making it possible for algae to grow as much as 725 feet below the surface. Crater Lake’s world-record clarity and striking blue color are attributable to its isolation from streams.
Miles of visibility from the highest vantage points in the park. Needless to say, air pollution is not the problem here that it is in many other parks.
Year round temperature (degrees Fahrenheit) of water more than 260 feet below the surface. Temperatures at the surface may be as high as 65 degrees at the summer peak.
Length of Rim Drive (miles). The more than 50 turnouts along this road offer views that are hard to beat for sheer scenic splendor.
Number of national parks created before Crater Lake National Park was established in 1902. People who insist that Crater Lake was the fifth national park don’t count Mackinac National Park (later Mackinac Island National Park), which was established in 1875 and abolished in 1895.
Cubic miles of water in the lake. Each year, about 34 billion gallons of water are added to the lake by precipitation/snowmelt and a like amount is subtracted by evaporation and seepage.
Number of people who have ever been to the bottom of Crater Lake and lived to tell about it. Several decades ago, oceanographer Mark Buktenica rode the submersible Deep Rover to the deepest part of the lake to make scientific observations. No one has been back since.
Number of native species of fish. However, there are several species of stocked fish, and fishermen can keep everything they catch.
Black bears are occasionally seen in the park, but pending the results of research currently underway, nobody knows how many there are.