The Volcano the Size of Rhode Island

You’ve sure­ly heard of Crater Lake Nation­al Park. But, did you know that the two final­ists for a Nation­al Park were between the New­ber­ry Crater and Crater Lake? Since Crater Lake took gold, many peo­ple have nev­er heard of, nor made the jour­ney to the New­ber­ry Nation­al Vol­canic Mon­u­ment. You don’t want to miss out on epic lava flows, obsid­i­an heav­en, water­falls, lakes, forests, caves, and hot springs. Vis­it New­ber­ry Nation­al Mon­u­ment: the vol­cano the size of Rhode Island.

As it sounds—there are mas­sive fields of lava flow or obsid­i­an. Obsid­i­an is a nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring vol­canic glass. It’s hard and brit­tle and there­fore breaks with very sharp edges. In the past it was used to man­u­fac­ture cut­ting and pierc­ing tools, so use cau­tion when hik­ing through or touch­ing it. Dogs should either not enter the fields or be equipped with thick booties to pro­tect their feet from the vol­canic glass. The most famous trail in the park is the Big Obsid­i­an Flow Trail and is a must-do if you’re in the area. The path tra­vers­es the lava flow and offers expan­sive views and edu­ca­tion­al signs through­out the trail.

Pauli­na Creek Falls is a stun­ning 80-foot dou­ble water­fall (side by side) a short walk from the car. It’s eas­i­ly acces­si­ble and beck­ons you clos­er. The falls are sur­round­ed by a stun­ning pri­ma­ry for­est clad with moss. There is a look­out near the top of the falls and a sec­ond near the bot­tom with switch­backs guid­ing you down. The water lev­el in the falls has been on the decline over the last 5 years, that being said, it still packs a punch in ear­ly sum­mer.

East Lake and Pauli­na Lake are both inside the Nation­al Vol­canic Mon­u­ment and are teem­ing with fish and fun things to do. Pauli­na Lake is equipped with a lodge, restau­rant, and water­craft rental. There is also a 7.8‑mile well-groomed trail that cir­cum­nav­i­gates the enor­mous lake where you’ll find end­less swim­ming and wad­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. East Lake is Paulina’s qui­et neigh­bor, per­fect for wad­ing, splash­ing, tak­ing in the epic Cas­cade Moun­tain views, and a relax­ing fly-fish­ing ses­sion. If you’re in the area for a while, check out near­by North and South Twin Lakes as well.

Pauli­na Lake has a “secret” fea­ture that most nev­er hear about. Along the back of the lake are small bath­tub-sized pools that are nat­u­ral­ly warm. The hot springs are approx­i­mate­ly 10 feet by 4 feet and are encased with logs. The 3 pools are vary­ing in heat from about 105F to luke­warm. The access to these hot springs are sea­son­al since the road to the park is closed in Novem­ber until May 1st. Oth­er­wise, you can snow­mo­bile in. If you cir­cum­nav­i­gate the lake or set out to enjoy these sea­son­al springs put these coor­di­nates into your GPS: 43.719 / 121.209

pho­tos cour­tesy Shan­non Enete