Related Itinerary:  Sundial Bridge, Shasta and Crater Lakes, July 2013: Day 1Day 2 

If you're looking to do some sightseeing on a short road trip, I think this itinerary is more than sufficient.  However, if your goal is to really explore the outdoors, this itinerary may be a bit scanty.  I'm not qualified to give advice to hardcore outdoorsy people, but here's some stuff I didn't do that others may enjoy.  I also write some general tips about visiting Crater Lake National Park.  
Sundial Bridge
  • For fans of the outdoors, the Sacramento River Trail can be accessed from Sundial Bridge.  Pretty self-explanatory, this trail winds along Sacramento River, which I think is beautiful from the little I saw of it.  A quick look online shows that bikers can bike all the way to Shasta Dam on this trail, and according to Google Maps, that would be about 17.5 miles from Sundial Bridge.  Not something I'd ever do myself, so I can't say much more. 
  • For families with small children, the Turtle Bay Exploration Park is by Sundial Bridge.  They have a botanical garden, and it seems to be like a children's science museum.  I didn't go in so don't know much, but it generally seemed like a fun place for kids.
Shasta Lake
  • We explored the lake for 2 hours by boat and it looked the same after a while, so for sightseeing purposes only, you don't need that much time here.  However, there are plenty of water activities to choose from, such as jet skiing, water skiing, or you can rent a house boat and relax on the water for a few days.  It just depends on what you're looking for.  
  • Shasta Dam was nearby and they offer tours, but we didn't go.  It would have been a little out of the way - it's a different highway exit from where we rented boats, and we would have had to drive to there and then back to the highway.  If you have the time it might be worth a visit; if you're really hardcore you can bike here from Sundial Bridge (see Sacramento River Trail above).  
  • When we went to the visitor's center for Shasta Lake, someone offered us a brochure for Shasta Lake Caverns.  You can take a tour to explore some caves by the lake, but we preferred to see the actual lake rather than caves in the short time we had.  
Crater Lake National Park
  • If you're only going for a day like we did - especially if driving long distances afterwards - you may not want to do the boat tour.  It will take over three hours, to hike down to the boat dock, go on the tour, and then hike all the way back uphill from the boat dock.  This leaves little time for other things, not the mention the hike is pretty strenuous. 
  • We went on July 5th and it was REALLY crowded with 4th of July vacationers.  Parking was difficult to find at most vantage points.  Getting lunch was an option of exactly one cafe in Rim Village, with a >30 minute wait, and the food was bland sandwiches with potato chips.  If possible, try to come when it's not a public holiday.  
  • For a day trip, picking one hiking trail may be realistic.  I highly recommend the Watchman's Peak trail because the views of Crater Lake from there are amazing.  You can look down and see the entire lake with a great view of Wizard Island - definitely different from standing at the rim of the lake.  See picture below for proof, also shown in my Crater Lake: Day 2 itinerary.  



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