South of Bend and Sunriver, geologic wonders abound. The area’s largest town, La Pine, is a sparsely populated community cloaked in pines.
The Newberry Crater in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a must-see natural wonder. The obsidian flows, vents, pumice cones, and hidden pockets of magma continue to fascinate geologists and adventurers. When this shield volcano’s massive dome first collapsed around 500,000 years ago, what remained was the spectacular caldera we see today.
From atop Paulina Peak (7,985 feet), you can witness thousands of acres of volcanic landscape with beautiful lakes (Paulina and East) and large lava fields, such as the Big Obsidian Flow.
Newberry Country’s rural feel is an ideal place to explore outdoor adventures.
Because this area of Central Oregon is at a higher elevation than Bend, there is traditionally more snow here — be prepared for some Forest Service roads and access within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument to be closed, including the monument’s visitor center until mid to late-May.
Still, the picturesque vistas, waterfalls and other natural wonders are only more beautiful when dusted in snow.
Plan to start your visit in La Pine, the small no-frills city at the center of Newberry Country. You can find food, gas and other necessities here before you head out into the outdoors.
East Lake Resort usually opens in late-May and has been around since 1915. Nearby, Paulina Lake Lodge is open in the winter and summer. Paulina Lake Lodge was built in 1929 and there are a variety of cabins on site that are a great place to relax, or to use as a jumping-off point for kayaking and exploring.
The restaurant at the lodge is a great place have a meal — Saturdays feature prime rib dinners (dinner reservations are required).
Hike out to Paulina Creek Falls, or head to the hot springs at Paulina Lake — five small pools on the sandy beach of the lake accessible either by boat or by hiking via several trails.