Wonders of America
Issue Date: May 27, 2006
City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 204,000,000
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforation: Serpentine die cut 10 ¾
Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, lies in the crater of Mount Mazama, an inactive volcano in the heart of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. The lake is six miles across at its widest point and covers twenty square miles. It is surrounded by miles of unbroken cliffs ranging from over five hundred to nearly two thousand feet in height.
Crater Lake was formed about 6,600 years ago when lava escaped from underneath 12,000-foot-high Mount Mazama. No longer supported by the lava, the top of the mountain collapsed, leaving a huge depression. This bowl-shaped crater gradually filled with melted snow and spring water.
The Klamath Indians believed that Crater Lake was the home of the spirits and that the lake’s waters had healing qualities. The lake became known to white men when John Wesley Hillman, a mining prospector, happened upon it in 1853.
Crater Lake was made a national park in 1902. The steep slopes above the surface of the lake continue beneath its deep blue waters to great depths. At its deepest, the bottom of Crater Lake is 1,943 feet below the surface. The water is so transparent that a white dinner plate can be seen at a depth of nearly 100 feet.