Vidae Falls

Crater Lake National Park / Klamath County, Oregon, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Vidae Falls shining in the late afternoon in late August 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Vidae Falls was definitely one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Crater Lake National Park, mostly because it was right by the road. It was one of the few waterfalls in all our waterfalling experiences that we didn't need to work for (other than the drive to get here; see directions below). With such minimal physical effort to experience this waterfall, we scrambled around the steep scree slope trying to look for different angles and ways to photograph and view the reportedly 115ft falls (all while trying not to mind the mosquitos which were in abundance during our July 2016 visit but not so much during our August 2009 visit). It featured a main cascading drop before reaching a rocky slope with less of an incline that eventually made its way down beneath the Rim Drive as it would continue its flow to the south and southeast of Mt Mazama.

Like with just about all waterfalls in Crater Lake National Park (there didn't seem to be that many though the named ones that we were aware of include Duwee Falls and Plaikni Falls), it seemed like the flow of Vidae Creek came from seepage from Crater Lake itself. We suspect this was the case because the waterfall was way too high up on Mt Mazama to even have an appreciable watershed or drainage.

Certainly in our experience, waterfalls without much of a drainage or watershed don't tend to last long, but since our first visit here was in late August 2009 when the falls still had pretty good flow while all the snow had been long gone, there had to have been an explanation for its decent flow that late in the Summer, and this was the only plausible one we could think of. A video simulating the formation of Crater Lake near the visitor center at Rim Village supported our seepage theory as that was one of the mechanisms (the other being evaporation) by which the lake level balanced out against the accumulation from snow and rain. Thus, we suspect this falls would probably flow year-round though it was certainly dependent on the water level of the lake.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Vidae Falls was pretty close to the short walk for this view of the Phantom Ship, which was one of the most photogenic spots in Crater Lake National ParkVidae Falls was pretty close to the short walk for this view of the Phantom Ship, which was one of the most photogenic spots in Crater Lake National Park
On the way to Vidae Falls, we were treated to plenty of gorgeous panoramas of Crater Lake and Wizard IslandOn the way to Vidae Falls, we were treated to plenty of gorgeous panoramas of Crater Lake and Wizard Island
After our visit to Crater Lake, we spent the night at a lodge next to Diamond Lake, which was a relaxing way to unwind from the eventful day of sightseeing earlier onAfter our visit to Crater Lake, we spent the night at a lodge next to Diamond Lake, which was a relaxing way to unwind from the eventful day of sightseeing earlier on
On our second visit to Crater Lake in 2016, we continued beyond Vidae Falls and the Phantom Ship and drove around the East Rim, yielding different views of the sapphire blue lake like this oneOn our second visit to Crater Lake in 2016, we continued beyond Vidae Falls and the Phantom Ship and drove around the East Rim, yielding different views of the sapphire blue lake like this one
When we returned to Vidae Falls in July 2016, we showed up pretty early in the morning, where long shadows from tall trees kind of conspired to make the viewing suboptimal. Had we waited another hour, the lighting might have been bestWhen we returned to the falls in July 2016, we showed up pretty early in the morning, where long shadows from tall trees kind of conspired to make the viewing suboptimal. Had we waited another hour, the lighting might have been best

Here's a broader view of Vidae Falls on an early morning in mid-July 2016Here's a broader view of the falls on an early morning in mid-July 2016

This was an angled look at Vidae Falls from the left side of the roadside pullout shot back in August 2009This was an angled look at the falls from the left side of the roadside pullout shot back in August 2009

More direct look at Vidae Falls with someone scrambling in front of it for a sense of scaleMore direct look at the falls with someone scrambling in front of it for a sense of scale


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


360 degree sweep from base of falls as well as repositioning to see the falls from a couple of different spots


Bottom up sweep from a spot closer to the falls itself


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Vidae Falls sat within the boundaries of Crater Lake National Park towards the southern rim. We managed to get there by basing ourselves in the sprawling city of Medford, then driving along the Crater Lake Hwy (Hwy 62) for about 54 miles to a signed junction. Turning right at this junction to continue on Hwy 62, we then drove an additional 15.5 miles towards a junction shortly before reaching the turnoff for Mazama Village and the Crater Lake National Park Entrance. We then kept left at this junction to go into the park, where we then drove an additional 4.5 miles or so to another road junction. Then, we turned right to go counterclockwise on Rim Drive and we continued for the next 2.8 miles to the roadside pullout for the falls on the left (it's 6 miles east of Rim Village).

Overall, this drive took us around 2 hours, which included a road work delay (there always seemed to be these things no matter when you make your visit).

While you're at Vidae Falls, we recommend driving a bit further to the nearest big curve barely a mile east of the falls pullout. That's where we stopped for the Phantom Ship, which required a brief 1/4-mile walk to get the view of the intriguing protruding rock attraction surrounded by the sapphire blue Crater Lake.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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