Paulina Falls – Little Hike to Big Reward (Video)

Central Oregon offers plenty of family-friendly activities — but visiting Paulina Falls in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument has to be one of the most accessible. From Sunriver, it’s about a 25-mile drive to the falls. But once you arrive, it’s an incredibly short walk to the main viewpoint, you can actually hear the falls from the parking lot.

Just the sight of the falls side-by-side, 60-ft high is enough to make the trip worth it. But hike a little further and there’s so much more to discover. You’ll see everything from bright purple wild flowers along the river to fly-fisherman relaxing and waiting for a bite.

If you’re feeling even a little adventurous, hike down just a quarter of a mile to the lower viewpoint. The path is easy to walk on and about half way to the bottom, you’ll start to feel the mist from the falls. This short hike puts you in the perfect spot for a photo-op with a dramatic vie of the falls in the background.

If you have the time before you head out, drive a couple more miles up the road and you’ll find a locals’ favorite: East Lake Resort. There, the kids can swim and you can grab a beer and a bite to eat. Or, rent a boat and go catch something yourself — you’ve just stumbled on one of the best places in Central Oregon to reel in the big one!

Mackenzie Ballard
Mackenzie Ballard
Mackenzie Ballard is COVA's Marketing Manager and in-house videographer. She came to COVA after more than 5 years in front of a camera working as a TV journalist. Her true passion is writing. Growing up in Sandpoint, Idaho – Mackenzie spent her summers boating on Lake Pend Oreille and winters snowboarding Schweitzer. After graduating from the University of Idaho, Mackenzie tested out city-life in Portland; but bumper-to-bumper traffic and the rain finally took their toll on her and she packed up and headed to the High Desert. Now, it’s hard to get her to leave Bend, even just for the weekend. There are just too many amazing hikes, bike rides and camping spots to take advantage of in Central Oregon to go elsewhere.