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Crater Lake boat tours

One of the most eagerly awaited summer activities at Crater Lake is the boat tour inside the old volcano's caldera.

The world looks a whole lot different while floating across the inky blue water and looking up at the rugged cliffs.

Between July 2 and Sept. 20, seven tours a day take visitors on an unforgettable, nearly two-hour, voyage. Park rangers are your guides, explaining what you see and answering your questions.

Two tours take visitors to Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone in the middle of the caldera, where visitors may climb to the summit or, if they have thick-soled shoes, can scramble over volcanic boulders at Fumerole Bay.

Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and sell out quickly. Advance tickets are recommended.

The tours begin at the northeast corner of the lake at Cleetwood Cove. The trail to the cove is one mile long and steep. Getting down is easy. Getting back up is slow and difficult for many.

Be sure to bring a light jacket, water, sunscreen and a hat.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the Crater Lake Lodge, 888-774-2728. Detailed information is available at www.craterlakelodges.com.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.

Crater Lake boat tours