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Umpqua Hot Springs

The Umpqua National Forest is full of beauty, it’s much like a smaller Columbia River Gorge in my opinion.

While taking Highway 138, to or from Crater Lake, it runs along the spectacularly turquoise North Umpqua River.

There are plenty of natural wonders along this highway, but the Umpqua Hot Springs is one to be recognized above all else.

It is fairly simple to find, if your heading east on highway 138 from Roseburg, it’s just past mile marker 59, follow signs to Toketee Falls.

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The hike to Toketee falls is about a two mile, fairly easy hike. There are plenty of viewpoints, but you do have to use a rope to get down to the bottom to get the best views.

There will be warning signs telling you not to go down the rope, so whether you do so or not is up to you.

To get to the hot springs, you will continue straight on this road for another two miles, it will break off at one point, stay to the right. You will continue down that road for another two miles and the parking lot for the trail head will be on the left. The trail can get fairly steep, there are rails to help you up the steepest points.

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It is possible the road will be blocked off, it was when we went! If there is significant snow, you will have to park at the closed gate and hike the two miles to the trail head.

I personally think that the snow made the hot springs even more beautiful.

Even in the snow, these hot springs were still plenty hot, there is about a total of seven or eight pools, they get colder as you go down.

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AirBnb Eco-Cottage – Portland, OR

Portland is such a unique city. It has the perfect combination of outdoors, great food and shops. It’s close to the coast, to the forests, to the Columbia River Gorge and so many other gorgeous Oregon natural gems.

It can be hard to find the right combination of nature and the city life, so you don’t have to drive thirty minutes to get to downtown during your stay in the Portland area. Which is why I recommend this gorgeous eco-cottage found near the Pearl District of Portland.

This eco-cottage is very different in such a beautiful way. If you like tiny house living, this place is perfect for you!

This is an Airbnb, so you do need to book it here.

The home is very small and simple, it is almost like glamping; all easily connected to the outside with lots of natural lighting. The bathroom is located outside with lots of wood and rock, a very spa retreat-like feel.

The toilet is very different and has specific rules for use, but it used absolutely no water!

There is a hot tub and an outdoor shower in an area that contains plenty of bamboo and wood, it seems like your showering in Thailand. The hot water is fantastic, we were there in November and it wasn’t too cold outside! But there is also a space heater to help keep it warm outside.

This space is behind the owners home, but very private. It has a wooden gate all around, withholding an overgrown, garden oasis. We saw plenty of squirrels and raccoons wandering around.

Though we were in a neighborhood in the city, it was also quiet. There was plenty of nature around us and even a park across the street. Some bikes and a canoe are available to use during your stay as well.

This retreat has no t. v but plenty of interesting books; which I loved. It truly forces you to unwind and experience something different than the traditional hotel.

My stay was pure bliss.

If you don’t already have an AirBnb, use this link to create yours and you will get a $40 credit!

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Working And Traveling Is Easier Than You Think

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of programs all over the media that allow you to travel in groups and work while traveling. These programs are amazing and make the process very simple; they put you with a group, allow you to share rooms so that the prices are cheaper and overall it seems like an incredible experience.

There are also other ways that you can work and travel, like work on a cruise line, be a flight attendant, teach English abroad and a few others. But I think the perspective that you must join a program in able to work and travel needs to be rethought.

None of these programs ever stuck out to me because I wanted to travel for many different reasons but personally never wanted to stay in a group and have a set-up group schedule. Hopefully, I’m not the only one that feels this way.

You can work and travel in many other ways besides these, here are some that have worked for me.

Use Craigslist In The Area You’re Traveling

This seems so simple, and it is, but also very effective! My boyfriend and I traveled the coast for six months and every city we went to, we browsed Craigslist for available jobs, from one day gigs to temporary jobs. And we found many, from loading up boxes to photo shoots!

You can also post up a resume on Craigslist, offering your skills. For me, I offered writing and photography and I actually booked some autobiography and resume gigs for decent pay!

Talk to the businesses in your city

Yes, I’m aware this seems very different than what most travelers would do, but we found our best travel job on the road by simply asking around!

We went from one business to the next, told them our story and asked if they needed any miscellaneous help. We scored ourselves some jobs at a restaurant for two months, made over minimum wage, plus tips and made some amazing friends and memories! We got so many responses by sharing our stories that not only did people need help, but they wanted to find ways to help.

People offered simple yard work or clean up jobs. It got to the point that we had to start turning jobs down because we already had a few and needed time to still explore the area and enjoy our travel.

We did not have trouble finding a job anywhere that we went. Yes, I’m serious… anywhere! We were even honest about the short amounts of time we were willing to work.

Here are some things I did not do during my travels, but would consider for the future that are more based from a computer.

A virtual assistant

Online Marketer

Freelancer websites (UpWork, Writers.work)

The reason I never brought myself to try these things may have subconsciously been because I like to meet new people and work physically, but these jobs can give you more flexibility and even better pay. Being a digital nomad is worth looking into!

If you would like me to write something about places you can make a bit of money with writing/social media posting, please let me know in the comment section.

Something I want to say as well, is that online surveys are not worth your time and should not be considered a source of income. I have tried nearly every online survey platform out there and it takes aggravated, boring decades to make a simple ten dollars.

Making money while seeing the world does not have to be through a program and it does not need to be made in one spot. We made a decent amount of money with these simple strategies while traveling five different states and experienced so much more than we could in one city.  It may seem intimidating, but it is so exhilarating and really allows you to grow and become a more independent person.

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Grifford Pinchot National Forest

This is among the most beautiful places to explore nature in Washington. Filled with gorgeous mountains, inactive volcanoes and luscious forests. This place is worth a long camping trip in the summer, or even the long drive to see some of it’s wonders in a day trip. The hikes and waterfalls in this area are endless because of all the mountains in the area.

Here are some of this forests best sites.

Mount Saint Helens Area

This inactive volcano is famous for it’s incredible destruction in 1980, you can see incredible views of this volcano and the effects of it’s eruption and learn more about it. It’s pretty amazing.

Ape Caves

The ape caves are truly unique, make sure to bring a flash light and warm clothing, because it is pitch dark! It’s quiet the adventure to work you way through this two and half mile lava tube, the longest continuous cave in the U. S!

Lava Canyon

This is a round trip, five mile hike, so not too bad. It leads to some spectacular views and Lava Falls.

Windy Ridge Viewpoint

This is the easiest viewpoint to see Mount St. Helens, it’s a stunning view where you can also see Spirit Lake. There is also a hike along Windy Ridge called Loowit trail, a 28 mile round-trip hike that has gorgeous waterfall along the way. Make sure to research required permits for hikes such as this in the area.

Mt. Adams Area

This area is particularly known for climbing Mt. Adams, it is a a 10 mile, round trip hike with a 4500 ft elevation gain, and leads to some amazing views!

Waterfalls

With the Columbia River Gorge being on the opposite site of this area, it has no shortage of gorgeous waterfalls, some of my favorite in the state are in this area!

Lower Lewis Falls

I believe this to be the most beautiful waterfall in Washington, it flows so perfectly and is wide, and it is easy to get to the bottom of the falls for amazing views and a swim 🙂 The long drive is beautiful and it is a short quarter mile hike that allows every viewpoint.

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Panther Creek Falls

This waterfall is simply magical, it trickles down a long wall of rock and you can even explore the river before it falls as well. There is access to the bottom of the falls as well.

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Spirit Falls

This waterfall is a gem, bright blue with a tremendous fall. It’s a little hike, about a mile and can be quiet muddy. All the more of an amazing nature experience!

Falls Creek Falls

There are plenty of views during the 4 mile round trip hike to this waterfall, including a suspension bridge and a partial hike along the river.

This forest is one of Washington’s best, so if you’re looking for a place to explore within the state, you can get the best of both world’s in this green forest between three mountains.

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Top Ten 101 Destination Stops

If you’re planning a 101 coastal road trip, I deeply recommend doing it right. That means starting from the 101 no one thinks about, right off the coastal road.

I’ve done this 101 road trip, and took my sweet time along the process. Not only this but I quiet literally live right off highway 101 in southern Washington, so I know the famous highway well!

Here are the must stop visits while traveling this amazing highway, from north Washington to California.

Hood Canal

This area often goes overlooked, it is not the 101 right next to the ocean, though it is close, this area is beautiful! It is right next to the Olympic Rainforest and some small towns by the bay. The famous Vance Creek Bridge is hidden in this area. A partial amount of this bridge has been torn down now but if your feeling reckless, you may still be able to explore part of it.

This area also is covered with amazing hikes and waterfalls and is one of the only places on the coast where you can harvest your own oysters! Stop at Hama Hama to get the beginning of your seafood experience and enjoy some wine and music by the bay in Hoodsport.

Some of my favorite waterfalls include Rocky Brook Falls, Murhut Falls, Hama Hama Falls and Vincent Creek Falls (High Steel Bridge). Read all about this area here.

Cape Flattery

This area is the northern tip of the U. S but not very popular, which is good for us! The trail is well maintained and the views are gorgeous. Read more about it here.

Ruby Beach

This is the most stunning beach in Washington, right off 101, the drive to this place is covered with spectacular beaches, but this is the one you’ll want to stop at. There’s tide pools to explore and the beach goes on forever. This beach is most famous for it’s large rock on the beach with a hole in the middle that I didn’t manage to get a picture of. You can read more about it in the link above as well.

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Quinault

Quinault is a special, quaint place where you can experience the world’s only temperate rainforest that is completely untouched. There are many nature trails in the area from quarter mile hikes to backpacking trips and waterfalls right along side them. There is also the world’s largest Spruce Tree here as well and the Hoh Rainforest is also close by if you can’t get enough of the luscious greenery.

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens is located right outside of the beautiful small city of Astoria, OR, most famous for the movie The Goonies. What makes this park so special is the ship wreck of Peter Iredale, where you can see the iron remains of this ancient ship right on the beach, accessible to the public. It’s quiet the site, see more about it here

Canon Beach

I think when people are planning 101 trips, their first destination is Canon Beach, so I hope all the posts above have caught your interest to see before northern Oregon. Canon beach is a small beach town with an open bottle policy, meaning you can drink beer wherever you’d please. Most famous for Haystack rock on it’s beach, where you can climb around it and view the tide pools. It also has a lot of puffins at the top of the rock.

It’s a popular destination spot, but also not incredibly crowded.

Cape Kiwanda

This place was one of my favorite experiences along our 101 travels. Located in the middle of Oregon in the town of Pacific City, Cape Kiwanda is what it means to travel 101. You show up at this beach, to a Haystack Rock way in the distance, you are able to climb a sand hill to your right which leads you to Cape Kiwanda. You can walk all along this Cape and experience amazing views. There are some dangerous areas but they will give you the best Instagram shot! Many wander past the warning signs to get the best photo, but because of the Oregon Beach Bill, I do not believe you can get fined for it.

You can also take the Three Capes Scenic Route before Cape Kiwanda to experience even better views, but we missed the turn, so keep a look out! Devil’s Punchbowl is nearby as well, though we didn’t go there. More on Cape Kiwanda here.

Samuel H. Boardman’s State Scenic Cooridor

This is located in southern Oregon in a small city called Brookings, right before you hit California. It is several different stops off the side of the Highway, all absolutely gorgeous. They meet up with the Oregon Coast Trail, the scenic points that I thought were most amazing was Natural Bridges, where you can hike your way to the top of these magnificent arches and Arch Rock Point.

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The Redwood Forest

Of course, the Redwood Forest is a must-see along 101. It is located in northern California and is quiet the enchanting adventure. There is so much to see here, there are several different areas to go, we went to the Jedidiah Forest, which was amazing, but simply driving through these areas is worth the drive.

Big Sur

Unfortunately, we were not able to experience Big Sur, California, as when we went they had an enormous landslide right before Big Sur on Highway 101, but it is still on my bucket list! I recommend stopping at Pfieffer Beach. I’ve heard that the sand turns purple on some sunsets and it is quiet magical!

Simply driving down this highway is spectacular! There are views of the ocean right on the side of the road so pull over as much as you can and enjoy the views! There are of course many more places of interest, but these are my top ten. So pull over as much as you can and maybe spot some whales in Oregon!

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Best Waterfalls in Washington

Panther Creek Falls

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I love the location of this waterfall, I saw it in the middle of winter. It was snowing and everything was covered in white as this waterfall trickles down a rock wall high up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This waterfall is located near the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and the whole area is gorgeous!

You can also hike to the bottom of this, it’s not difficult, it was just too slippery for us at that time but I recommend it!

Snoqualmie Falls

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Snoqualmie Falls in located in the small city of Snoqualmie, clearly, but it is quiet the sight. I’ve heard there are ways to get to the bottom, which would be amazing.

Rocky Brook Falls

This is my second favorite waterfall in Washington. Located on the Hood Canal near the Olympic National Forest, an area full of beautiful waterfalls, but this one is well hidden and contains only a small sign you couldn’t see from the road. It’s about a quarter mile, easy hike to the waterfall and you can get right up to it and even climb up it a bit!

There is also a small pool at the bottom that we were pleased to jump off rocks into 🙂

Marymere Falls

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The area of which this waterfall is, is spectacular. Near the Olympic National Forest and the ever-so-blue Lake Crecent, you’ll find a short half-mile hike to find this waterfall. I think it’s the location that makes this waterfall stand out to me

Lower Lewis Falls

This is my favorite waterfall I’ve seen in Washington! This spectacular waterfall is one of the many waterfalls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, it is not a waterfall that is right off the side of the road by any means, it is deep into this forest, a long drive up towards Ape Caves in the Mt. St. Helens region. The hike once you hit the parking lot is only a quarter mile and there are many viewpoints and even access to get to the bottom of the waterfall, where you can swim or walk on the shallow grounds! You can also access the top of the waterfall and find some swimming holes or cliff jump into the deeper parts of bottom of the waterfall.

Palouse Falls

This waterfall is massive! The biggest in Washington I’m pretty damn sure! You can see the waterfall from the parking lot, it pours into a giant crater so perfectly. You are able to hike along the rock sides and where the river flows before it leaves down the waterfall. You can even climb dangerously along the rocks where the waterfall falls off the giant ledge. There is also a small path to get down to the bottom, it looks a little sketchy, we didn’t do it but it would be an amazing view!

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Exploring The Columbia River Gorge

I’ve drove through this amazing gorge in the past and gazed upon it’s beauty but never really stopped and explored the area, so that’s exactly what we did last weekend and it’s one of my favorite locations in both Washington and Oregon, as it is located on both sides.

We made our way to the Columbia River Gorge from the Oregon side, which has more of the popular views and waterfalls. I recommend taking the Historic Highway, just the drive is gorgeous and you will find many waterfalls along the way that I cannot find the names to, as they are a little smaller, but it is a must do. If you have an R. V, it may not be quiet safe for you to drive it though.

The first official stop we made was Latourell Falls, one of my favorite Oregon waterfalls, you can get right up to where the water meets. It’s so powerful you can feel the spray without being too close, this thing is massive!

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We saw a trail that led further down that I definitely recommend taking, the entire area is gorgeous.

There are many other stops along the Historic Highway, Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon, was unfortunately blocked off during the season, so we couldn’t get any good shots, but it is still quiet the view. When on the Washington side of the Gorge, you can still see this massive waterfall on the other side of the Columbia River.

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We didn’t get photos of Bridal Veil Falls or Horsetail Falls because that part of the Historic Highway was closed when we were there, but we will be sure to be back to these natural wonders.

When driving along the Gorge, make sure to look onto the Washington side of the river to see an enormous waterfall going down into the river, I’m not sure of the name of this but it is absolutely breathtaking.

As I said before, you will run into waterfalls along this highway every few minutes and each one is worth stopping to see, some even without names. For a full list of the popular waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, click here.

We crossed over the Bridge Of The Gods, which links the Oregon portion of the Gorge to Washington and is a two dollar toll bridge that is pretty awesome.

Once we got onto the Washington side, we found a local secret waterfall that took us on a National Forest Development road all the way up a mountain where it began to snow! By the time we left this area, we had about two feet of snow!

The waterfall we saw was Panther Creek Falls and it was amazing, it was a short hike downhill with an overlook, it also has a little rock climb down to the lower level. It has a rope to help you down and I definitely recommend it.

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Afterwards, we started heading towards our Airbnb towards Washougal and stopped at Cape Horn, right off the highway and it is STUNNING! You can see the entire Gorge and even spot the waterfalls on the Oregon side.

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In Washougal, we stayed at a Treehouse we found on Airbnb, and it was perfect for our lifestyle! I definitely recommend Airbnb for travelers, it allows you to meet new people and discover new creative homes and places.

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Washougal Treehouse. Click here to sign up for Airbnb and get $40 off your first stay.

We are going to be heading back to this area soon, the summer would be more ideal for this area so we wont run into snow again. But after doing some research, we realized that there is an incredible amount of hidden waterfalls on the Washington side of the Gorge that we must see! We already have a wish list.

We used the book, Curious Gorge, to help us find all these waterfalls and it was extremely helpful and will be our guide for our next adventure here.

If you’d like to check this book out, click here.

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Traveling Washington 101 North (Temperate Rainforests, Ruby Beach and Cape Flattery)

Though I’ve lived at the bottom of the Washington coast all my life, last weekend was the first time I drove all the way up 101 North. We’ve just about traveled all of the 101 highway now, and Washington’s coast is not much short of Oregon’s.

We took advantage of good winter weather and traveled from South Bend, WA, up 101 all the way to the most northwestern tip of the United States, Cape Flattery. Of course we stopped at some destinations along the way, and all of them were amazing, where the temperate rainforests of Washington meet with the coastal waves.

Our first stop was Quinault, a beautiful area full of nature trails from a quarter mile long, to full backpacking trips. The largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world lives in this lush forest, as well as many other large trees and some coastal redwoods. There are plenty of waterfalls, some you can hike to and some right off of the road.

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We stayed in the Quinault lodge, though in the summer there are so many beautiful camping spots next to the Lake Quinault. This lodge is gorgeous and relaxing though, with access to trails and the lake right outside. It has a nice restaurant, pool, game room and an overall nice environment.

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The next morning we woke up and started heading further north, our next stop being Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, some of the coastal gems of Washington.

Kalaloch Beach has a famous tree called the Tree of Life or Big Tree Cave. You can see the entire root system from the beach, it grows in the air and the ends connect to the ground, above the beach.

Ruby Beach has lots of giant coastal rocks, easily accessible from the sand. One has a natural arch, others have holes through them, it is quite the site. You can spot some star fish, sea urchins and other marine life as well.

This beach is called Ruby Beach because you can find ruby clusters within the rocks if you look hard enough!

 

After this pit stop, we headed up North towards Port Angeles, I recommend stopping at Lake Crescent along the way, as it is beautiful and has a hike to a waterfall that is lovely. We stayed in Port Angeles for the night and headed west to the northwestern tip of the U. S, Cape Flattery. This is about two hours from Port Angeles and well worth it.

Located on an Indian Reservation, it is a well-kept trail with handmade walking sticks for anyone in need. The trail is wooden and an absolute gorgeous two-mile hike, round-trip. There are several viewpoints along this trail, and every one is worth seeing. You can see coastal rock caves where the ocean meets, many coastal rocks and an island not too far from the edge of the cape with a lighthouse.

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The northwestern tip is nothing short of magical, and every step to get there makes the adventure even more beautiful.

 

 

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Cape Kiwanda – Pacific City, Oregon

Cape Kiwanda is my favorite cape on the Oregon coast, and that says a lot because Oregon is full of beautiful coastal lines.

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The best thing about the Oregon coast is it’s Oregon Beach Bill, which allows you to wander anywhere your heart desires on the beaches, as the beaches belong to the people and are protected from being owned or industrialized. So many signs can say to not go beyond this point or something, but it’s more of a warning.

Cape Kiwanda is located in Pacific City, a small, simple and beautiful town that I love so much! The beach is a very public beach and not hard to find, it also has Pelican Brewing (which has great beer) right on the beach, which is a perfect place with outdoor seating to enjoy the view of haystack rock and the sunset.

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There’s also a good amount of waves to surf, which many people do here. If your entering the beach, you’ll see a huge sandhill to the right, climb this and you will be on top of Cape Kiwanda.

Once you get on top of this sand hill, there is so much to space to wander, and so many views to see, make sure not to miss a single one and to experience it as best you can, ignoring the warning signs!

Also, make sure to take the scenic view to get to Pacific City, which allows you to see two other capes before Cape Kiwanda, it’s called the three capes scenic drive. You’ll take a right about 20 miles before Pacific City to take this route, there will only be one sign, so much sure to keep a look out for it.

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Map location and directions here

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Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake is an absolute must-see location in the Pacific Northwest and one of my favorites! When I first saw Crater Lake with my own eyes, I could only describe it as heaven on Earth. This could have very well been because of the timing of which I was there, which I recommend to anyone wanting to visit there. I was in Crater Lake in July, early in the morning, with a blue sky and clouds within it. The water was incredibly still and the water was a beautiful reflection of the snow of the crater and the sky above it, so perfectly that it was difficult to tell where the water began and the sky started.

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Crater Lake was once a volcano, called Mount Mazama. This volcano’s eruption was so enormous, that it caused the volcano to collapse into itself, leaving a giant crater, almost 2,000 feet deep. This crater filled with water through rainfall and melted snow, making it insanely clean and therefore a gorgeous, bright blue.

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There are many different areas to view the crater and there is one area that you can actually get into the water, this place is called Cleetwood Cove and is about a 20 foot cliff. This jump is a must do! Seeing the snow-covered crater from the crystal clear water is like pure magic and the water isn’t as cold as you would expect. You have to hike about a mile downhill to reach this area, the hike down is wonderful and the hike up can be a little difficult, but well worth it.

The main area of Crater Lake has a lot of information to learn everything about the area, as well as buy souvenirs and some fancy food, which wasn’t as expensive as I expected, with the view that we had.

It is, till this day, the most beautiful place I have ever seen, if you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, this is a place that you must see, and I recommend it in the early morning in good weather, and to stay throughout the day.