The eight of us drove to Newberry Caldera on an excessively smokey Monday, arriving in the late afternoon to Little Crater Campground on the east shore of Paulina Lake. We began leaving the smoke as we climbed up to the 6,331′ high lake, one of two beautiful lakes occupying the caldera. Our campsite was located immediately adjacent to the lake and gave us a great view looking out to our west. We had enough light to set up camp and bike for a few minutes before settling in for the evening.
Tuesday morning was pleasantly cool. Wyatt, Colter, Zane, and I woke up and climbed onto our mountain bikes for a bit of trail riding before heading back to the campsite for breakfast. We next headed out onto our bikes as a family and biked over to the Obsidian Flow Trail where we enjoyed climbing through the massive blocks of obsidian and rhyolite before heading back to camp for lunch. We swam in the cool waters of the lake before hiking to the hot springs on Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail. I was surprised by the bright blue color of the lake that seemed to be much more vivid as we walked along the northeast aspect of the lake.
We fixed dinner and then the eight of us loaded up in the car for the short, but steep, drive up to Paulina Peak. Wind wind was blowing had out of the south, but the view out across the immense caldera of the ancient shield volcano was spectacular!
Wednesday we broke down camp and stopped at Paulina Falls on our way out. Our final stop on the trip was at Lava River Cave, a mile long lava tube located off of Hwy 97. The cave offered a chilly respite (42 degrees year round) to the abnormally hot temperatures which were plaguing the region. This feature is often quite crowded, but a midweek morning gave us a semblance of solitude in the beautiful cave. We thus concluded our stay at Newberry and headed south to our next destination… Crater Lake.
See it Yourself: Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a 54,822 acre monument dedicated in 1990 that offers a variety of volcanic features centering around an extinct stratovolcano with a 400,000 year history of eruptions. It offers camping, hiking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, and winter sports. I found it to be a great spot for families and I highly recommend a stay.