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Oregon, United States

Obsidian Trail - Newberry Crater

A very unique hike through an obsidian lava flow beneath Paulina Peak in Newberry Crater, Oregon

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 (1 vote, 1 review)
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.0 miles / 1.6 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: This is a very cool interpretive loop over a 1,300 year old obsidian lava flow below Paulina Peak in Newberry Crater. You'll pass by lava rock that is as smooth as glass (and sharp - be careful). You'll have great views up to the top of Paulina Peak above you and across Paulina Lake.

Tips: Trailhead
From Bend head south on Highway 97. Turn left onto Forest Road 21 between milepost 161 and 162. Follow this road 11 miles and enter the park past the toll booth. It is $5 to enter. Head down the road and look for the trailhead between Paulina Lake and East Paulina Lake.

Points of Interest


Parking Lot

From here head out on the Obsidian Trail. There will be several informative signs on this loop hike. Take the time to read them. They are interesting.

Entering the Flow

Here you are about to climb up onto the Obsidian Flow. This flow happened 1,300 years ago and is the youngest lava flow in Oregon.

Paulina Peak View

Here you will have spectacular views up to the summit of Paulina Peak and over the lava flow. You will also have views down towards Paulina Lake as well. From here you can take the other way down for a loop with different views or head back the same way you came up.
Pictures in this guide taken by: JonathanEllinger

Jonathan Ellinger
If you have an interest in geology then this place is a must. We found the Obsidian Flow fascinating and the interpretive signs very informative.
There is one thing you should be warned about however; this is NOT dog friendly and there is a warning sign advising you of same at the car park. This is due to the sharpness of rocks on the trail.
Though only short, the walk isn't easy, more your moderate grade. It's uphill and, at times, on rocky tracks.
The view from the top, while good, isn't as expansive over the lakes as you might expect. However, don't go for the views is my advice, go for the experience.
I had pictures to go with this but can't work out how to enter them.

Visited on Oct 04, 2015

by iandsmith on Oct 28, 2015

Obsidian Trail - Newberry Crater Map

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About the Author

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Although I have climbed over 250 mountains from various places around the U.S. and have hiked in Europe...

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