There’s a volcano the size of Rhode Island just south of Bend, and it’s tough to believe a lot of folks miss it. In November of 1990, Newberry National Volcanic Monument was created within the boundaries of Deschutes National Forest. Exploring the Newberry Crater (which is technically a caldera) is a wonderful way to learn about and see firsthand the violent, geological history that helped make Central Oregon the beautiful place it is. Right off Highway 97 just before you reach Lava Lands, you see Lave Butte, the source of the lava flows and jagged volcanic glass you see. Visiting Lava Lands Visitors Center is a perfect way to get oriented before you head to Newberry Crater. You can also hit Newberry Welcome Station for details and a map. While many visitors (and locals) miss out on this area, you can stop at Paulina Falls, an 80 foot double waterfall a short walk from the car. From there, you can take your pick of Paulina Lake (complete with a lodge, restaurant and watercraft rental) or East Lake for wading, splashing and views. And speaking of views, don’t miss out on the amazing view from the top if you drive all the way up. For extra points and memories, commit to a full, guided day and you check out the Paulina Plunge, a combination of mountain biking and waterfall adventuring.
The Peter Skene Ogden Trail (named for Paulina Lakes 1826 discoverer) parallels the creek as it ascends 8.5 mile to Paulina Lodge at Newberry Crater. The trail can be hiked, biked, or horsed the whole length, but a 3 mile stretch in the middle starting at McKay Camp is a spectacular shorter hike. Newberry National Monument has too many splendors to list here. Be sure to pick up a national park brochure at the visitor center or at the entrance to the monument.
NEWBERRY VOLCANIC NATIONAL MONUMENT
There’s a volcano the size of Rhode Island just south of Bend, and it’s tough to believe a lot of folks miss it.
No trip to Bend, Oregon is complete without exploring the Newberry Crater. The area is teeming with ancient lava flows, jagged volcanic glass, rivers, lakes, caves, hot springs, waterfalls, and forests — and they’re all there waiting for you to explore them. The Newberry Crater area offers fun things to do in both summer and winter.