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Paulina Peak

Sweeping views abound all over Central Oregon—but few offer the breadth of Paulina Peak Observation Site at the summit of Paulina Peak.

The viewpoint at the parking area sits at an elevation of 7,984 feet, is the highest point in the Newberry Volcano, and is one of the highest points in Central Oregon that’s accessible by car.

From the summit, interpretive panels tell the story of Central Oregon’s volcanic history and help make sense of the sights before you. Below is the wider Newberry Caldera, home to a pair of lakes, as well as several cinder cones and the appropriately named Big Obsidian Flow. Further afield are the forests of Central Oregon, the region’s high desert, and the edges of the arid Fort Rock Basin. On a clear day, Cascade Range peak views include Mount Adams (in Washington), Broken Top, Mount Jefferson, and even Mount Shasta (in California).

Open Season

June-early Oct.

Dog Friendly and/or Leash Rules

Leashed dogs are permitted.

Best time to visit

June-Sept.

Don’t Miss

On a sunny day, views from the summit of Paulina Peak are among the best in Central Oregon. Consider driving up in the evening for sunset views and epic stargazing.

Fees or Pass Needed

Forest Pass ($5 per day pass or $30 per annual pass) or America the Beautiful pass ($80 per annual pass) are accepted.

Restrictions

Given the steep, rough, and narrow nature of the summit road, only those in passenger cars, pick-up trucks, and vans are advised to make the drive.

Activities

Hiking

Dark Sky

Viewpoint

Walking

Parking

There is a parking area at the Paulina Peak summit.

Directions

Paulina Peak is about 20 miles east of La Pine via Finley Butte Road, Newberry Crater Road, and Forest Road 500.

Other stories

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

  • Great Getaways: Newberry Country
    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.

  • Newberry Crater: Ancient Attraction is an Activity Hub
    Newberry Crater: Ancient Attraction is an Activity Hub

    It’s hard to believe, but 25 years ago, the volcanic features that make up Newberry National Volcanic Monument weren’t protected. If it wasn’t for a group of concerned Central Oregonians, the monument wouldn’t exist. “In the late 80s, at the time, the collaborative process we see today for land-use planning just wasn’t as common.