Newberry Volcano is the largest volcano is the Cascades. It has erupted numerous times over the last 400,000 years and created a unique landscape of cinder cones, obsidian flows, chunky pumice flows, a mile long lava tube and two caldera lakes. The lava flows extend for 75 miles. The monument contains just a small portion of the flows but includes the most interesting features like the caldera lakes and a large cinder cone.
The monument has two major sections that are miles apart from each other so I’m making two separate posts. The Newberry Caldera section includes the volcano, rising 2,000’ above US 97, and accessed by a 20 mile road that dead ends at two clear blue lakes which formed 75,000 years ago when an explosive eruption created the calderas. Hiking, mountain biking, camping, swimming and boating are popular activities at Newberry Caldera.
Most of the caldera area is not very accessible. A very short section of the Big Obsidian Flow Trail is paved. The trail is steep and narrow but it’s doable with help. A .25 mile trail to the overlook of Paulina Falls is hard packed dirt and accessible. It’s a little hard to see the falls because of the railing. Both trail parking lots have room for RVs.
We also drove to the top of Paulina Peak. The 4 mile long dirt road is steep with many curves and no guardrails. It’s only one lane but wide with many pull offs to allow oncoming traffic to pass. RVs over 25’ and trailers are not permitted on the road. The view at the top is worth the drive!