The formation of Crater Lake in southern Oregon happened 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption of Mount Mazama volcano triggered the collapse of a tall peak. The wall of that extinct volcano runs around the lake while in the middle of the lake is a small island that rises over 755 feet above the surface. The purity of the lake is marvelous and the water seems impossibly blue. What keeps the water so pure is that it has no connections to the rivers and streams around it, so rainfall and snowfall are the lake’s only source of water. The lake is so clear that, on most days, the people can see nearly 97 feet below the surface. This is the deepest lake in the USA and perhaps the most pristine one on earth. The beauty of the lake is a true inspiration for the photographers and artists, while the nature lovers rejoice in watching the incredible scenery. Watchman Peak is the place where the most amazing picture of the area can be taken. The park also includes surrounding mountains and thick forests. The trees are the shelter for many kinds of animals, from black bears to elk and spotted owls. Crater Lake National Park has more than 86 miles of hiking trails. One of its trails, the Cleetwood Cove Trail, drops more than 655 feet down to the edge of Crater Lake. The trail leads to a spot where swimming is permitted. This is one of many extraordinary places that can be found all around the park.