Newberry Volcanic Monument in the Deschutes National Forest
Created in 1990, Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a protected area within Deschutes National Forest. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, this monument provides visitors with a unique opportunity to view the lava lands of central Oregon up close. The monument includes 54,000+ acres of lakes, lava flows and spectacular geologic features, as well as the highest point in the monument – Paulina Peak (71985 ft.), which offers views of the Cascades, Newberry Caldera and across the High Desert landscape.
Visitors to Newberry National Volcanic Monument can take part in a variety of activities. Hiking is the most popular activity, with many trails winding through lava flows and providing breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Other outdoor activities include mountain biking, camping and fishing. Anglers can try their luck at Paulina Lake or East Lake, where a variety of warm and cold-water fish can be found. There are also several interpretive programs offered by the U.S. Forest Service, including guided tours of the region’s geologic features and hikes to view wildlife in their natural habitat.
Lava River Cave
In addition to outdoor activities, there are other attractions at Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Lava River Cave is one of the most popular sites, a 5-mile long underground lava tube that can be explored with a guide. Though a pioneer hunter was given credit for the discovery of the cave in 1889, obsidian flakes found near it have led archaeologists to believe that Native Americans were aware of its existence long before settlers arrived in Oregon.
Hot Springs at Paulina and East Lake
There are also two developed hot springs located at Paulina Lake and East Lake, however they might be better named warm springs, as their temperatures don’t reach high enough of a temperature to qualify them as hot springs. The park’s roads are only accessible by car during specific seasons, and the springs can only be reached late in the season through early summer.
The Lava Cast Forest
The lava cast forest is a geologic feature containing a 6,000-year-old lava flow that created lava molds of ancient trees. It’s located about 25 miles south of Bend and is accessible via a 9-mile gravel road from U.S. Highway 97. The site includes paid parking and a paved interpretive loop trail, with some sections too narrow or steep for wheelchairs.
The Deschutes National Forest
- Things to do in the Deschutes River Woods
- Best Day Trips and Adventures from Bend and Sunriver
- Top Attraction and Activities Near Bend, Oregon
- Things to do in Sunriver, OR
Review of Newberry Volcanic Monument
“We only had time to visit the Lava Butte Area and the 1 mile Trail of Molten Land. The park is beautiful, made to preserve the caldera and volcanic remnants of the Newberry Volcano. A forest service ranger did a great talk about the geology of the volcanoes of the Cascade Range. The Trail of Molten Lava leads visitors through a lava field from the eruption of lava field. This park is at least worth a quick stop, we will be back to visit the caldera and lava tubes another time.”