Virtual Swim in Crater Lake

Virtual Swim in Crater Lake, Oregon’s only National Park

by Jani Sutherland and Sara Quan

 It’s a long time to Open Water season. Are you looking for another challenge? We have just what you’re looking for – a mythical swim across (or around) Crater Lake! Why not enjoy Oregon’s beautiful National Park, without ever leaving your own pool. The water in Crater Lake is usually in the 50’s and never, ever gets above 61 degrees. To swim in the lake you must first hike 1½ steep miles to the shore on the Cleetwood Trail. The Park Rangers say people do get in but isn’t this a better way?

Crater Lake Lodge and Wizard Island. Crater Lake National Park Map.

Option A is for mileage junkies – the 34 mile swim around the lake. Option B is across the lake: 5.7 miles for east to west, 5 miles for north to south. If you want to swim around Wizard Island on your way across or around add 2miles. And you can always swim to the bottom and back up for a n extra 1.75 miles.

Option A: (around) 34 miles

Option B: (across) 5 or 5.7 m

Around Wizard Island: + 2 miles

To the bottom and back: +1.75 m

The whole enchilada: 58.45 miles

Fun facts about Crater Lake: Before collapsing, the top was between 11,000 and 12,000 feet high. The lake is 1,932 feet deep and the temperature at the bottom is 38 degrees F. The surface temperature in the summer is 55-65 degrees F. The lake rarely freezes over. The eruption that created the lake happened about 5700 BC and was 100 times greater than Mt. St. Helens 1980 eruption.

Progress Chart

Keep track of your mileage. And have fun!! All your swimming yardage counts: 1650 yards or 1500 meters is a mile. Mark the chart on the days you swim each week. Use as many charts as you wish. There is no time limit. Send in your results!!

Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total Distance
Day 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Total Distance
Day 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Total Distance
Day 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Total Distance
Option A: (Around Crater Lake) 34 miles, Option B: (Across Crater Lake) 5 or 5.7 miles,Around Wizard Island: + 2 miles, To the bottom and back: +1.75 miles, The whole enchilada: 58.45 miles


Crater Lake in summer Crater Lake in winter

This mythical swim compiled by Jani Sutherland and Sara Quan, Fitness Chairs for Oregon. It appeared in the Oregon Masters Swimming newsletter, The Aquamaster, in March 2002.

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