National Treasures: Touring America’s National Parks on a Beer Adventure

Crater Lake reflecting the clouds over Garfield Peak // Photo courtesy of NPS

Crater Lake reflecting the clouds over Garfield Peak // Photo courtesy of NPS

Crater Lake National Park

Founded:

Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the fifth oldest national park.  It is home to the caldera of Crater Lake—a remnant of a collapsed volcano. At 1,943 feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. But it’s just one piece of this beautiful landscape that also boasts volcanic mountains, 300-foot pinnacle towers and old-growth forests covering 50,000 acres.

Things To Do:

If you’re going to be at the deepest lake in the nation, you better swim or at least take a boat tour to one of the islands in Crater Lake. If you’re adverse to water, hiking is a great alternative. With 90 miles of trails to choose from, the Pinnacle Trail hike is a beauty. This short one-mile loop teeters along the rim of Pinnacle Valley providing views of volcanic spires in the canyon walls, some up to 300 feet tall.

Where To Stay:

If you head to Crater Lake after June, try to stay at Lost Creek Campground. This 16-site, tent-only campground is wooded, secluded, and available on a first come, first serve basis. If Lost Creek isn’t an option, the forested Mazama Campground is a fine alternative. The beautiful 200-site campground is a quick 7-mile drive to Rim Village, which offers wonderful views of Crater Lake.

Breweries:

Where to begin? According to 2013 data from the Brewers Association, Oregon is now home to more than 180 craft breweries and has the single highest ratio of breweries per capita in the US at 6.3 breweries per 100,000 drinking age adults. Setting  aside Portland and the northern half of the state for another trip, we suggest you fly into Bend. Spend a couple days filling growlers and touring taprooms at some damn fine craft breweries like Deschutes, 10 Barrel, Worthy Brewing, Good Life Brewing, Crux Fermentation, and more. Oh, and don’t forget to stop at the Rat Hole Brew Pub for some Pork Tacos and a pint of the Fence Post Porter.

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