8000 years ago this was the tallest mountain in Oregon.
7700 years ago an eruption swallowed the peak leaving only the rim. Snowmelt eventually created the lake while residual liquid hot magma created a small island in the lake.
The indigenous Klamath people have stories of a battle between the sky god, Skell, and the underworld god, Llao. The mountain was a casualty of the battle and it fell into the earth. Recent archaeology has found footwear buried under ash as well as other evidence corroborating specific detail in the oral account. They watched this happen.
Many sections of the park are still closed due to snow so we left and, after some wrong turns, found our way along some forest service roads to a park entrance that closed in the 50’s. From the end of the road it was less than a kilometre to the old stone welcome sign and some columgnar formations. They are old steam vents whose vapour was so hot the dirt fused to form rock that has outlasted subsequent erosion.
Sooper gnarly geoporn.
As the sun sets, it is clear that beautiful places don’t depend on a time-of-day.