With holidays behind us, our minds have turned to summer pastimes and a visit to one of the most unique places in the world.

Eons went into making Crater Lake National Park, long before Mt. Mazama collapsed to form the caldera in which the lake now sits. Native Americans revered the lake, and pioneers were shocked by its beauty when they stumbled upon it at Discovery Point.

Today's visitors are no less mesmerized as they circumnavigate the lake on Rim Drive and look at its unusual color, a product of its depth and clarity. Each viewpoint along the route provides a unique view of the lake and surrounding features. The ancient lava formation Phantom Ship rises hauntingly from the water near the lake's eastern shore. To the west, The Watchman viewpoint provides a close view of Wizard Island, a cinder cone that grew after Mt. Mazama's collapse to tower nearly 800 feet above the water.

To the north, the fit and adventurous descend the rim on Cleetwood Cove Trail to reach tour boats docked at the lakeshore. The guided tour includes close-up views of the shore, Phantom Ship and Wizard Island.

The southern rim is dominated by Rim Village, home to the grand Crater Lake Lodge. The lodge offers overnight accommodations plus a rustic Great Hall, a dining room and a stone patio overlooking the lake. Not far from the lodge, Sinnott Memorial Museum and Overlook was built into the caldera wall to provide visitors with an unparalleled view of the lake.

Beyond the rim, the national park encompasses an expanse of volcanic remnants, from the stone-strewn Pumice Desert to the striking volcanic spires of The Pinnacles at the end of Pinnacle Valley. The park's highest point, Mt. Scott, is an ancient volcano that can be climbed via a strenuous trail. The park also offers gentle hikes like the Glen Godfrey Trail.

The stark and unusual beauty of Crater Lake makes it a total escape from everyday life. Until you can feast your eyes on this gem thousands of years in the making, be our guest on an unforgettable desktop getaway.