History of Rim Drive, Crater Lake National Park
Early Travel to Crater Lake
Mount Mazama’s climactic eruption left an indelible impression on the region’s native peoples, some of whom came to Crater Lake for spiritual and ceremonial purposes over the course of many centuries. The first recorded account, however, of reaching the rim came from a failed attempt by a party of would-be miners to locate a “lost” gold mine. They “discovered” what later came to be called Crater Lake on June 12, 1853, but failed to publicize the find from their home base of Jacksonville, the only town of any size in southern Oregon at the time, and one located about 60 miles southwest of the lake. Another group of miners reported seeing Crater Lake in the fall of 1862, though it hardly set off a barrage of publicity in the region’s newspapers.