"It's a sharp drop all the way down to the water," says photographer Scott Spiker of the hills around Oregon's Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the country. "You need skis with edges that can grip the side of a snowy slope really well when you're out here." The 30-mile trip to circumnavigate the lake can take anywhere from two to four days in the winter months, but a shorter seven-mile cross-country trek from the Rim Village Visitor's Center to Spiker's viewpoint can be done in just a few hours depending on snowfall. And the snow does fall. The area's trails only thaw in June after an average of more than 40 feet of snow blankets the region.
"It's the bluest lake I've ever seen," says Spiker. "On nice days you might see a few folks, but after going a mile or two around the lake, you're pretty much on your own."
More information: Crater Lake National Park is about a 140-mile drive southeast of Eugene, Oregon.