Great Getaways: Newberry Country

When plunging into a multi-day adventure in Central Oregon, the number of choices can be well, overwhelming. There is just so much to do in this four-season playground that a traveler can be forgiven for suffering from a little indecision.

One strategy is to break down the area by geography, clustering activities together that are within striking distance of a home base, be it a hotel, cabin or RV parking spot.

In this case, we’re building the perfect day around “Newberry Country” – southern Deschutes County and the city of La Pine with a home base at East Lake Resort inside the Newberry caldera.

If you’re looking for a little adventure there is nothing like making a dormant shield volcano that once showered the entire region in ash and magma your base of operations. If you’re worried about natural disasters, you’ve seen too many movies. The volcano has been inactive for literally thousands of years. The only thing erupting these days is the surface of the water during the evening mayfly hatch when trout gorge themselves on emerging insects and anglers delight.

Family of four explores the Big Obsidian rock formation at Newberry National Volcanic Monument near La Pine, Oregon
Couple on Paulina Peak in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.


Newberry National Volcanic Monument: After entering the park, look for the visitor’s center on the right side of the road as you approach Paulina Lake. Immerse yourself in a quick history of the area’s fascinating geology some 75,000 years in the making.

Hiking through The Big Obsidian Flow is something you’ll remember forever. The 1300-year-old lava flow is the youngest in Oregon.

If you’re ready for lunch, the Paulina Lake resort has a cozy cafe and lounge where you can grab a pint of ale and a signature prime rib sandwich.

This is also the place to rent a boat, which are available by the hour or day. Rates are reasonable and life jackets are provided.

Two women paddle their kayaks on Paulina Lake near La Pine, Oregon.
A man holds a fly over an open tackle box in the woods of Central Oregon.
A man and his son fish from the edge of Paulina Lake near La Pine, Oregon.

If fishing is your passion, cast off from the beach.

On the north shore of Paulina Lake a series of hot springs that well up along a natural beach are waiting for you!

Make sure you’ve packed a shovel, because you’ll likely need to dig out your soaking pool as they tend to fill in rather quickly. After you’ve enjoyed the hot springs, head back to your lodging at Paulina Lake Lodge, East Lake Resort or your camp spot. There’s no bad way to end the day when you’re surrounded with the natural wonders in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

A couple sits in a hot springs on the shores of Paulina Lake in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument near Bend, Oregon.

Other stories

More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.

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