In a previous blog we wrote about a visit to the Newberry Caldera, located in a section of the Newberry National Volcano Monument about 30 miles south of Bend. The Caldera was formed when a magma chamber collapsed and over time it filled up with water creating two lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake. A couple days ago we drove back to the area to hike the Paulina Lake Shore Loop Trail, a 7.5 mile hike along the shoreline of Paulina Lake.
As we hiked along the south shore of the lake the trail stayed very near the water and made its way through some snow and over a few very wet areas of recent snow melt.
Park information recommended hiking the trail in a counter-clockwise direction for the best views of nearby Paulina Peak. We began to question that strategy during the first half of the hike, but as we rounded the lake and began to head west the snow covered peak began to come into view.
As we rounded the north side of the lake we went through an obsidian flow. The area was filled with interesting pieces of obsidian.
Just a short distance further we came to an area of hot springs that help feed the lake. A few small areas along the shore have been dug out and enclosed with tree limbs.
We checked out the water in one of the dug out areas and found it to be too hot to keep our hands in. The water in the lake near the hot springs was quite comfortable compared to the rest of the lake.
We found that the hike back on the west side of the lake provided constant views of Paulina Peak.
While a bit long at 7.5 miles, this hike has only 200 ft of elevation gain (a go-around along the west shore) and has some beautiful scenery. We really enjoyed it . . .