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More of Don's
photo series.

Mount Mazama

Crater Lake National Park

Boat Tour

Greetings from Phantom Ship
Greetings from Phantom Ship!

Phantom Ship isn't a ship of course—it's an island, the tip of an ancient mountain much older than Mount Mazama. When you see Phantom Ship from one of the overlooks on the road around the lake, you see it from 1,000 feet above; it looks like a ship sometimes from there.

But from down on the water, it looks like what it is—very old rock sticking out of the water. The boat goes pretty close to it, but no one is allowed to go on to the island, so it remains today as it has been for ages, changed only by the forces of nature.

Wizard Island Small cinder cones
Wizard Island, a relatively recent cinder cone, seen from the lake. This cone was formed after the lake was present. Passengers can leave the boat and stay on the island until the next trip if they arrange it when they purchase their ticket. Small cinder cones adjacent to Wizard Island. This view really surprised me—it looks more like tropical isles or something than Crater Lake. These cinder cones are the newest formations on Mount Mazama.
The walls of the caldera. Four features.
The wall of the caldera, seen on the way from Wizard Island to Phantom Ship. "Caldera" is Spanish for "cauldron," which is what the crater looks like.


Six features of Crater Lake: Phantom Ship on the left (where the trees are), Wizard Island in front of the Watchman and Hillman Peak, which are part of the caldera wall, and the lake itself.
Boats far below Devil's Backbone Spawning grounds
At about one-half of the way down the mile-long trail, we see the boats below. Each boat holds 60 passengers, plus a crew of three, one of whom conducts the tour. Swimming is allowed at the boat dock area. Devil's Backbone is a lava dike, formed as Mount Mazama was in its growth phase. Small streams of snowmelt cascade down the caldera wall, forming spawning ground for the kokanee salmon which inhabit the lake.
Ancient rock of Phantom Ship The Castle Deepest point
Lichens grow on the ancient rock of Phantom Ship, the peak which was here before Mazama grew up around it. Pumice Castle, a formation high on the caldera wall.


A buoy marks the deepest point of the lake, +-1,932

Take the Rim Drive or go back to the Crater Lake Village, or go back to the
Cascade Peaks Index or the Crater Lake National Park page.