EXPLORING OREGON – The Devil’s Punchbowl

The Devil’s Punchbowl is a breathtakingly beautiful natural wonder that will leave you in awe. Located on the picturesque central coast of Oregon, this incredible geological formation is a stunning sight to behold. As you approach the area, you can hear the sound of the waves crashing against the rocky shoreline, beckoning you to come and explore.

The Devil’s Punchbowl is a massive sea cave that has been carved out of the rocky cliffs by the relentless force of the Pacific Ocean. The cave is roughly 100 feet in diameter, and the sheer power of the ocean has created a natural amphitheater that is both stunning and humbling. The rocks around the cave have been smoothed over time, and the swirling patterns carved into them by the waves are a testament to the raw power of nature.

What makes the Devil’s Punchbowl so unique is its accessibility, or lack thereof. The cave is only accessible during low tide, which means that visitors have to time their visit correctly to see it. During high tide, the seawater fills up the cave, creating a turbulent swirling effect that is both mesmerizing and powerful.

To reach the Devil’s Punchbowl, visitors must hike down a well-maintained trail from the nearby parking lot to the beach. The trail offers stunning views of the coastline and is an easy to moderate hike that is suitable for all skill levels. Once you reach the beach, you can explore the tide pools and watch the waves crash against the rocky shoreline. The sound of the waves and the salty sea air make for a truly immersive experience that will stay with you long after you leave.

For the more adventurous, there are guided kayak tours available that take visitors inside the Devil’s Punchbowl cave. The tour guides are knowledgeable about the area’s history and geology and provide an unforgettable experience. As you paddle into the cave, the sound of the waves echoes off the walls, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The experience is both exhilarating and calming at the same time, as you feel the power of the ocean all around you.

As you wander through the rocks the terrain feels surreal. There is so much to explore and so much sea life now visible at low tide. Shells, agates, muscles, sea urchins, starfish, and so much more ready to be discovered. There were many explorers this early morning, both young and old. We were surprised to find a young guide, a college student volunteer, who was a great source of information on the area’s eco system.

The Devil’s Punchbowl is not just a beautiful natural wonder but is also steeped in history and legend. According to local folklore, the Devil’s Punchbowl was created by the Devil himself, who, in a fit of rage, punched a hole in the earth and let the ocean flow in. While the geological explanation for the cave’s creation is a little less exciting, the myth adds to the area’s allure and makes it an even more intriguing destination.

Overall, the Devil’s Punchbowl is a stunning destination that offers visitors a unique experience that they won’t find anywhere else. The combination of natural beauty, history, and folklore makes it a memorable destination for adventurers and nature lovers alike. We will never forget this magical spot. It was my favorite, and I wish I had spent more time there.

Whether you choose to explore the tide pools or take a guided kayak tour, the Devil’s Punchbowl is a destination that should not be missed on your next trip to Oregon.

EXPLORING OREGON – Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake is a stunningly beautiful and serene national park located in southern Oregon. It is the deepest lake in the United States, with a depth of nearly 2,000 feet. It is also known for its crystal-clear blue waters, which are some of the bluest in the world.

The lake was formed over 7,000 years ago when the top of Mount Mazama collapsed following a massive volcanic eruption. Over time, the crater filled with rain and snowmelt, forming the deep, clear lake that we see today. Crater Lake was established in 1902, and is the only national park in Oregon.

One of the most popular activities at Crater Lake is hiking. The park has a number of trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding area. Some of the most popular hikes include the Rim Trail, which offers panoramic views of the lake, and the Watchman Peak trail, which offers a challenging but rewarding climb to the top of the peak. We visited Crater Lake for one day, and we chose to hike the Cleetwood Cove Trail. This is the only trail with access to the shore of Crater Lake.

The trail is steep and strenuous, and not for the faint of heart. It is a 2.2 mile roundtrip trail that drops 700 feet in elevation through a series of switchbacks. There are a few shaded areas and benches to sit and catch your breath, or simply take in the views. Expect high traffic in the summer, and prepare for the heat. Once you’ve reached the bottom of the lake, take some time to relax and enjoy the view. The clear water is inviting, with great spots for diving and swimming, if you don’t mind the icy cold water.

Crater Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing. The park is home to a variety of animals, including black bears, mule deer, bald eagles, and my favorite, the chipmunk. The best time to spot wildlife is in the early morning or late evening, when the animals are most active.

I wanted to take this little one home with me!

Can you see the volcano in the middle of the lake? Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone forming an island at the west side of the lake. It rises 767 feet above Crater Lake’s surface. A boat will take you there in the summer months. You can hike the Summit Trail, a moderate hike that will take you to the top of the island in about an hour.

If you are planning a longer stay to fully explore Crater Lake, there are some in-park accommodations. Crater Lake Lodge, The Cabins at Mazama Village, and Mazama Campground are all excellent choices. You will have to plan ahead as these are usually booked months in advance. You can also opt to stay at a nearby campgound or hotel.

Crater Lake is a truly incredible place that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a hiker, boater, or wildlife enthusiast, you’ll find plenty to see and do in this beautiful national park.