Monday, October 17, 2011

Paulina Lake - Newberry Crater, OR

Last weekend I jumped at the chance to take a road trip around Central Oregon. My first proposed stop was a visit to The Newberry Crater Volcanic Monument just south of Bend, OR. The crater is actually a 17 mile wide caldera of a 500sq mile super volcano that once covered a large chunk of Central Oregon.

It was dark and as we drove up the crater to get to Paulina Lake in search of somewhere to camp we realized that the landscape around us was changing and before we knew it there was frost and snow to greet us. It was COLD! Thank god for 0 degree down sleeping bags! The weather was calm though so there was no chill breeze freezing us while we took night photos.

Paulina Peak over Paulina Lake at Sunrise
Paulina Lake at Sunrise
At sunrise the next morning we were talking with a few fishermen who said that East Lake (Paulina Lake's sister lake within the crater) was stocked with Atlantic Salmon, it seems odd to me, but it might be the sort of fact that a fisherman might like ot know before they head up.

We went in October and didn't see anyone aside from a couple of guys with little fishing boats. The bathrooms and dumpsters were locked, as was the gate to the top of Paulina Peak.Plan accordingly for seasonal closures.

If you're in the area and the roads are free from snow it is definitely worth seeing. Also don't miss the obsidian flow, it's a 50ft thick glassy patch of lava that covers nearly a square mile in the crater. There are also hot springs, ice caves, several camping areas and a waterfall all nearby.

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