Webcam Photo Gallery

Crater Lake can look very different from season to season, from day to day, and even from hour to hour. The photos in this gallery were taken by the Crater Lake Webcam at Rim Village. They can help you interpret what you're seeing on the live webcam. Click on any image to enlarge.
Crater Lake Webcam - Clouds and Icicles
Crater Lake is often hidden by clouds. In the winter, it's invisible almost 50% of the time! Sometimes, icicles dangle in front of the webcam from the roof of the Sinnott Overlook.

Crater Lake Webcam - Before the Smoke Arrives with Features Labeled
Most summer days are sunny, providing views of three volcanic summits. Wizard Island erupted out of the lake around 7,300 years ago. Llao Rock erupted on the flanks of Mount Mazama around 7,800 years ago. Mount Thielsen hasn't erupted in the last 250,000 years.
Crater Lake Webcam - Smoke is Coming
Summer views are sometimes impacted by smoke. This photo was taken 30 minutes after the last one. The smoke was coming from the National Creek Complex, three fires burning in the northwest corner of the park.
Crater Lake Webcam - Caldera Filled with Smoke
In another 30 minutes, the lake had almost vanished. The fires of the National Creek Complex were started by lightning on August 1, 2015, burned 20,960 acres, and caused several weeks of smoky skies.
Crater Lake Webcam - Clouds Inside the Caldera
About once a year, typically in the spring, a temperature inversion causes a layer of fog to form just above the lake's surface.
Crater Lake Webcam - Clouds Filling the Caldera
On rare occasions, a thick layer of fog fills the whole caldera. It develops at night, then slowly burns off over the course of the day.
Crater Lake Webcam - Clouds Reflecting in the Lake
Sometimes, clouds that appear to be within the caldera are actually not. When the wind is calm, the lake's surface reflects clouds that are high above in the sky.
Crater Lake Webcam - Contrails Reflecting in the Lake
Calm water also reflects the contrails from aircraft passing overhead.
Crater Lake Webcam - Rainbow Over the Lake
On windy days, clouds aren't reflected by the lake. Instead, they cast dark shadows onto its surface. These shadows give some people the mistaken impression that they're seeing the bottom of the lake.
Crater Lake Webcam - Pollen on the Lake
Lodgepole pine pollen is responsible for the yellow film that appears on the lake every June and July. The tiny grains float for weeks before sinking, herded by the wind into beautiful swirls and streaks.

Crater Lake Webcam - Skim Ice on the Lake
On calm nights in the winter and spring, a layer of skim ice sometimes develops. It usually doesn't last long, broken up by the wind and rising sun. The lake hasn't frozen over with solid ice since 1949.
Crater Lake Webcam - Clouds Reflecting and Wind on the Lake
More often, what looks like ice is actually just water being disturbed by the wind. Wind ripples are responsible for the darker patches on the right-hand side of this image.
Crater Lake Webcam - Wind Moving Across the Lake
In the summer and fall, it's common to have calm conditions in the morning followed by a breezy afternoon. When the winds pick up, the leading edge of the wind is visible as it crosses the lake.
Crater Lake Webcam - Whitecaps on the Lake
Strong winds bring whitecaps and big waves to Crater Lake. Although the park's prevailing wind direction is southwest to northeast, winter gales sometimes blow the opposite direction.
Crater Lake Webcam - Camera Lens Obscured by Snow
When gales from the north carry moisture, snow sometimes adheres to the window that protects the webcam's lens.
Crater Lake Webcam - Tour Boat on the Lake
White specks on the water are not always whitecaps. You might be seeing birds (typically California gulls) or floating logs. In this case, the white dots are tour boats. Can you spot the one behind Wizard Island? Three tour boats operate on Crater Lake in the summer. They hold 37 passengers, a captain, and a ranger who provides narration.
Crater Lake Webcam - Research Boat on the Lake
Dark objects on the lake sometimes cause people to report that they've seen a monster. This particular monster is one of the park's two research boats. So far, researchers have not discovered any actual serpents.
Crater Lake Webcam - Somebody's Selfie Stick
Occasionally, the webcam does spot signs of intelligent life, usually from visitors standing underneath it at the Sinnott Overlook.

Last updated: January 18, 2022

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Crater Lake National Park
PO Box 7

Crater Lake, OR 97604


541 594-3000

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