Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument


Managed by U.S. Forest Service

Established 1990

54,822 acres



Newberry National Volcanic Monument was carved from Deschutes National Forest by presidential proclamation in 1990 and here you must purchase a recreation pass to visit.  The main area of development is around Paulina Lake, but short roads off Highway 97 also lead to Lava River Cave and the top of Lava Butte.  Lava River Cave, at 5,211 feet in length, is Oregon’s longest lava tube and one of more than 250 known caves found throughout Deschutes National Forest.  A one-mile interpretive trail enters the Lava Cast Forest, where 6,000 years ago the forms of trees were preserved in lava before burning up.


Paulina Lake, East Lake, Paulina Falls, Lava Cast Forest, Paulina Peak, Lava River Cave, Lava Butte, Big Obsidian Flow Trail, Crater Rim Trail, Peter Skene Ogden Trail

Must-Do Activity

Newberry National Volcanic Monument has everything you would expect from a volcanic area: lava tubes, cinder cones, cast trees, and basalt flows.  There are also some things you might not guess, like an 80-foot tall waterfall, two big lakes for boating, forested campgrounds, and two lakeside resorts.  We have seen photos of people soaking in a hot springs on the shore of chilly Paulina Lake, but we are not sure exactly where those are located.

Best Trail

There are a variety of hiking trails in the area, like the 21-mile Crater Rim Trail that circles Newberry Caldera or the one-mile Big Obsidian Flow Trail.  These both offer outstanding views of Paulina Lake or you can drive to the top of 7,984-foot-tall Paulina Peak.  Sharp chunks of obsidian (volcanic glass) mean that you should wear good shoes (not sandals) on the Big Obsidian Flow Trail.  

Instagram-worthy Photo

Lovely Paulina Falls is split into two separate waterfalls off the cliff face on the caldera’s western edge.  The overlook is accessible by a short hike and user trails lead steeply to its base.

Peak Season

Late summer


$5 daily recreation pass or America the Beautiful pass

Road Conditions

The roads we drove to access Paulina and East Lakes were paved, but there are many other unpaved Forest Service roads in the National Monument.


One of numerous campgrounds, Little Crater Campground is situated on Paulina Lake, plus there are two lakeside resorts.

Related Sites

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (Idaho)

Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (Washington)

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (Arizona)

Explore More – What is the name of the popular museum of wildlife and living history located just north of Newberry National Volcanic Monument on Highway 97?

4 thoughts on “Newberry National Volcanic Monument”

  1. Great pictures from a place in my backyard! I’ve never been to Paulina Falls. Your pictures of it look so inviting. The High Desert Museum is north of there, where I volunteer. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s