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Visiting Crater Lake, and Michael’s Top 5 Reasons Not to Stay at Crater Lake Lodge with a Three Year Old

Wizard Island on Crater Lake

Wizard Island on Crater Lake

One of my motivations in writing this post is just to have an excuse to show off that photograph above. I took it from the boat as we passed the side of Wizard Island, but I didn’t expect to get the lighting just right.

My other reason is to register a few complaints about our stay at Crater Lake Lodge. If I didn’t have my three year old traveling along, the Lodge would have been perfect. It’s a nicely restored historic Lodge built right on the edge of the rim. Since Benjamin did tag along, though, I have a few complaints to air. For the purpose of full disclosure, Allison is not on board with…

…Michael’s Top Five Reasons Not to Stay at Crater Lake Lodge with a Three Year Old.

1. There is a 1000 foot drop right in front of the hotel. Granted, it’s gorgeous, but it’s not the kind of play area I wanted for Benjamin after a 5 hour car ride from the Redwoods.

2. There is a giant parking lot in the back of the hotel. Basically, we were wedged in between cars and a huge precipice, so the only place to run around was in the hotel itself.

3. Not-so-kid-friendly restaurant. Even though the Lodge’s fine dining room provides high chairs, it really was a bit too pricey and fancy for our taste, given that we have a squirmy three year old boy once six o’clock hits. For our two nights at the Lodge we drove the fourteen mile round-trip to Mazama Village to get the Italian-style buffet.

4. Ruthless mosquitoes. From the Olympic Peninsula to the Oregon Coast, the mosquitoes hadn’t been bad all summer. That was, until we hit Crater Lake at dusk. Apparently, these little suckers breed in all the snow packs left over from spring, and that meant it was a little hard to sit on the beautiful deck at sunset.

5. No TV. Who needs a tv? It just isn’t that important to us, except when the hotel is surrounded on all sides by a parking lot and a 1000 foot drop and our boy is running around the Great Hall like a maniac. Then we might want a tv in the room. BTW, the lodge does have board games for older kids.

That said, you’ll notice from our photos that Crater Lake is truly spectacular. The boat ride is worth it, even if you have to hike back up to the rim with a toddler on your back. The story of Mt. Mazama is mighty cool, and the lake water is as blue as they say. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Allison and Benjamin on the Crater Lake Boat

Allison and Benjamin on the Crater Lake Boat

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Sarah | October 9, 2008 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Lovely pics! Traveling to ‘finer’ places is certainly hard with a three- year old, it almost sounds like they deliberately discourage small children?

    Either way, when we travel with our own three-year old, we bring a little backpack full of crayons, paper, My Little Ponies, small board books to read, and tactile things to amuse her. She keeps pretty happy in the event of no TV, or having to sit in a car for an extended period of time, even helps out at restaurants. One thing she loves about the b ackpack is that there are multiple pockets, and every pocket holds a new surprise…

    Looking forward to your next travel post, they get me dreaming about my own!

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