Hwy 62 – 07 Park Statement of Significance

Rehabilitation of Highway 62 West, Crater Lake National Park, Klamath County, Oregon



Park Statement of Significance

  • Crater Lake is one of the most famous lakes on earth, principally because of the beauty imparted by its large size, blue color, mountain setting, and ever-changing character.
  • Crater Lake lies in a caldera that was left by the climactic eruption of Mount Mazama more than 7,700 years ago. The circular lake, which formed in the caldera, is considered by scientists to be a unique model for how small calderas evolve over geologic time. At a depth of 1,958 feet, Crater Lake is the seventh-deepest lake in the world, and holds the world record for clarity among lakes.
  • In addition to the lake, the forests that surround Crater Lake remain unlogged and are largely preserved in their pristine condition. These mature forests harbor a variety of plant and animal life, which are characteristic of higher elevations in the Cascade Range. Because extensive alteration of forestland has taken place elsewhere in the Cascade Range, some of these plants and animals are rare. The park forests, combined with the surrounding forest landscape, provides a contiguous experience. Those forests within the park boundary add unique opportunities for solitary and wilderness experiences.
  • Some of the nation’s best examples of blending rustic architecture and other built features with a national park setting can be seen at Rim Village and at park headquarters in Munson Valley. Most of the structures at Rim Village and Munson Valley are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
  • Crater Lake is of enduring importance to contemporary members of American Indian tribes because of its centrality to long-standing cultural traditions and resource harvesting activities, as well as its symbolic significance as a sacred site. The park is part of a larger cultural landscape that extends well beyond park boundaries.
  • Crater Lake has been the object of scientific study for more than a century and is unique for the scientific research related to its pristine waters, associated geothermal activities, and unusual aquatic organisms.
  • The unique natural and cultural resources of Crater Lake National Park provide exemplary opportunities for students and educators (NPS 2002a).
    Park Mission
  • To forever preserve the beauty of Crater Lake National Park, its unique ecological and cultural heritage, and to foster understanding and appreciation through enjoyment, education, and inspiration (NPS 2000a).