NOTE: Some of these Hike Areas are CLOSED in the WINTER--PLEASE CHECK FIRST!
Newberry National Volcanic Monument near LaPine, Oregon is an educational and fascinating area south of Bend encompassing many separate "Places to Go" worthy of mention. Daytrip hikes, boating, swimming and camping near or in the Monument are all within an hour south of Bend in Central Oregon.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument is such an extensive part of the southern Central Oregon area, that I will cover the camping sites, day hikes, trails and various aspects of it in separate listings as you scroll down.
A part of the Deschutes National Forest, the Monument includes 50,000 acres of lava flows, lakes and amazing geologic sites in Central Oregon. The summit of Paulina Peak is within a 17-square mile caldera also at the summit of a 500-square-mile active volcano. Over 400 cinder cones and miles of basalt flows exist within this monument.
First of all, driving just a few miles south of Bend on Hwy 97, you will pass High Desert Museum, which is a good place to stop in for a few minutes, if you have children.
Lava Lands Visitor's Center -- (CLOSED in WINTER)
*RATED: EASY to Moderate / water, flush-toilets / Kid- and Pet-friendly / Wheelchair-accessible
Lava Butte is about 12 miles south of Bend. It is also a popular part of the Newberry Monument, with short, paved hiking trails to the summit of Lava Butte, a 500-foot cinder-cone for an amazing view. There are interpretive exhibits along the way for an educational family hike. Drinking water and flush-toilets, with a $5 Day Use Fee.
541-593-2421 Lava Land Visitor Center under Deschutes Nat'l Forest/Special Places Link
Lava River Cave Interpretive Site and Trail -- (CLOSED in WINTER)
*RATED: EASY to Difficult / No water / vault-toilets / Older kids; younger, watch carefully; pets?? probably not.
just another mile south of the Visitor Center, to the left off Hwy 97 on Cottonwood Exit 151 and follow the signs east under Hwy 97. This site is truly an amazing hike for those who enjoy underground, totally dark treks. (Hint: bring coats, a flashlight and a thick hat). This huge cave is a one-mile lava-tube that runs underneath the highway. Formed by a lava flow from Mt. Newberry, this Central Oregon wonder is an approx. one-and-a-half-hour hike. Open for visitors May through mid-September, 9 - 5. $5 Day Use Fee, Lantern rentals $4 until 4pm. No Drinking water, Restroom with Vault toilet.
Lava River Cave, Deschutes Nat'l Forest/Special Places Link
Lava Cast Forest Day Use Interpretive Site
*RATED: EASY / Pet- and Kid-friendly / No water / vault-toilets / Wheelchair-accessible
This hike is part of the Newberry Monument as well. You turn left off Hwy 97 onto Road 196 before you get to LaPine. The turn-off is 15 miles south of Bend, and just 3 miles past the Lava Lands Visitor Center. Turn left on Forest Road 9720 and drive for 10 miles east on an unpaved road to reach the parking area for the hike. This is an easy, barrier-free, paved trail, approx. 1-mile hike appropriate for all ages.
As you wind through the volcanic rock and a few, tall pines, you can see empty "casts" or molds of ancient trees made by hot lava covering the forest in the area. You will find Penstemon, Indian Paintbrush and Ponderosa Pines along the trail. Truly a remarkable, fun day-hike. This is especially so in the Autumn, when the fall colors of the leaves on bushes and trees make a spectacular vista. The air is normally very clear and smells of Pine trees, particularly in the warm summer breeze.
Picnic tables are available for hiker picnics; No Drinking water available, restrooms with Vault toilets. Recreation Fee Area May - Sept.
541-383-4000 Lava Cast Forest/ Deschutes Nat'l Forest/Special Places Link/NNVM Recreation Page
Camping/ Day-Use at LaPine State Park
Approx. 27 miles From Bend on Hwy 97 toward LaPine is LaPine State Park, which has campsites, full-hookup RV areas/ Waste-dump, and cabins for rent. 10 miles of trails, a day-use area right on the Deschutes River, picnic sites with drinking water and a restroom, hot showers for campers, leash areas for responsible pet-owners and a park-store.
1-800-551-6949 www.oregonstateparks.org You can reserve campsites and cabins by phone or online up to 9 months in advance.
23.5 miles south of Bend, you take a left off Hwy 97 on County Road 21 toward Newberry Caldera, and drive 12 miles east, to find two lakes in the caldera, East Lake and Paulina Lake, along with the Big Obsidian Flow to the South of Paulina and East Lakes.
Paulina Lake Visitor's Center
*RATED: EASY / Parking and Boat launch / No water / vault-toilets / Kid- and Pet-friendly
Paulina Lake is a nice drive and is a family-friendly, pet-friendly area for picnicking, boating, playing in the water, and hikes. No water available, Vault toilets at picnic area by lake. Day Use Fee Area.
Paulina Lake and Paulina Falls/ Deschutes Nat'l Forest/Special Places Link/NNVM Recreation Page
Paulina Falls Day Use Area
*RATED: EASY to Moderate / No water / vault-toilets / Kid- and Pet-friendly, recommend leash.
Paulina Falls is located west of Paulina Lake, and features two split-falls that drop over 60 feet onto rocks below. Easy dirt trail less than 1/2 mile down to the creek-bottom for spectacular views, or you can go to the overlook from the parking area for taking pictures up at the top. Also an easy hike along the trail back to Paulina Lake. No drinking water available, Vault toilets. Parking/ Recreation Fee Area.
Big Obsidian Flow Trail
*RATED: EASY to Difficult / No water / Older Kids recommended; Younger Kids watched carefully / NOT Pet-friendly as Obsidian is Natural Glass... rocks are sharp. 1/2 mile Trail to top.
Very interesting and instructional hike, path is rocky and somewhat difficult. Nice view of the lakes from the top.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Kid & Pet-friendly Daytrips & Day Hikes in Central Oregon
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