September at Zama is all about returning to nature and reviving the soul. To compliment our Soul Revival Special, we thought we'd take a look at a truly mystic and sacred location that has been providing people of this region an opportunity for soul searching and revival for centuries: Crater Lake.
Crater Lake was formed around 4680 BC when the volcanic Mt. Mazama blew its top in spectacular fashion. The eruption was estimated to have been 42 times more powerful than that of the Mt. St. Helens' 1980 blast. The mountain peak fell into the volcano's partially emptied neck and magma chamber, and Crater Lake was formed in the new crater.
"Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past." - U.S. Park Service
Crater Lake has long been revered as sacred by the Klamath Tribe of Native Americans, whose myths embody the catastrophic event they witnessed thousands of years ago. The central legend tells of two Chiefs, Llao of the Underworld and Skell of the World Above, pitted in a battle which ended in the destruction of Llao's home, Mt. Mazama.
Crater Lake was a primary site for Native American vision quests. Contributing to the mystique, Crater Lake was known as a particularly dangerous site for the these quests. Gaining a vision of the supernatural beings residing in the lake was thought to be the ultimate epiphany. The seeker would often swim at night, underwater, to encounter the spirits lurking in the depths. The quest for such spirits required great courage and resolution. Another ritual at Crater Lake involved dangerous climbs along the caldera wall. One who could reach the rim without falling was thought to have superior spiritual power. Rocks were often piled as feats of endurance and evidence of spiritual effort.
Today, Crater Lake remains a sacred site for power quests and other spiritual pursuits, both for members of the Klamath Tribe and those interested in Native American spirituality. Crater Lake is a spectacular 250-mile drive from Portland along some of Oregon’s most beautiful and diverse landscape. Scenic high desert panoramas lead to the dramatic Cascade Mountain Range, blanketed by Oregon’s oldest, most pristine forests. A pilgrimage to the former Mt. Mazama is guaranteed to inspire religious-like awe.
Click here to plan your trip and to learn more about Crater Lake from the National Park Service.