Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Located just south of Bend, Oregon, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a geological wonderland that offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the region’s volcanic past. Encompassing over 54,000 acres within the Deschutes National Forest, this extraordinary monument boasts a diverse array of volcanic features, serene lakes, and stunning landscapes that make it a captivating destination for outdoor enthusiasts and curious explorers.
A Volcanic Legacy
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a living testament to the region’s volcanic history. Formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred over the past half-million years, the monument showcases various volcanic features, including cinder cones, lava flows, and obsidian cliffs. The vast caldera of Newberry Volcano, stretching over 20 miles, remains one of the most prominent features of the monument, providing a glimpse into the immense power of ancient volcanic forces.
Lava Lands and Lava River Cave
One of the highlights of the monument is the Lava Lands area, where visitors can witness the striking black lava fields, a reminder of the dramatic volcanic eruptions that shaped the landscape. The Lava River Cave, a captivating lava tube, offers a unique subterranean adventure for those willing to explore its dark and mysterious depths.
Paulina and East Lakes
Nestled within the Newberry Caldera are the stunning Paulina and East Lakes. These pristine alpine lakes were formed by volcanic activity, and their tranquil waters reflect the surrounding mountainous terrain. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking around the lakeshores, taking in the breathtaking scenery.
Paulina Falls and Big Obsidian Flow
Nature’s wonders continue to unfold in the monument with attractions like Paulina Falls, a stunning twin waterfall cascading over a basalt ledge. For geology enthusiasts, the Big Obsidian Flow provides an opportunity to marvel at the glossy obsidian glass formed by a volcanic eruption over 1,300 years ago.
Newberry Caldera Rim Trail
Hikers and nature lovers will relish the Newberry Caldera Rim Trail, a scenic route that encircles the caldera’s edge. The trail offers stunning panoramic views of the volcanic landscape and the surrounding Cascade Mountains. Adventurers can witness diverse flora and fauna while exploring the unique geological features along the way.
Preservation and Education
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument places a strong emphasis on preservation and education. As part of the Deschutes National Forest, the monument actively manages its resources to protect its delicate ecosystems and habitats. Educational programs and interpretive centers provide visitors with insights into the geological processes that shaped the monument’s fascinating landscapes.
The monument caters to a variety of recreational activities throughout the year. In the warmer months, visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, and picnicking amidst the scenic beauty. During winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities beckon adventurers to explore the snow-blanketed wonderland.
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Bend, Oregon, stands as a testament to the region’s volcanic past, captivating visitors with its diverse geological features and stunning landscapes. From the ancient lava flows to serene alpine lakes, the monument offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore and appreciate the natural wonders of Central Oregon. For nature enthusiasts, geology aficionados, and outdoor adventurers alike, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument remains a cherished gem that invites exploration and discovery of Oregon’s captivating volcanic legacy.