Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Little Crater Campground, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon


Now this is what we thought Oregon should be like! We found this beautiful site at Little Crater Campground on Lake Paulina. There are numerous campgrounds along the road to Lake Paulina and East Lake in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument,  south of Bend, so we stopped at the Visitor’s Center to find out which would be better for an RV, since I had read that some were strictly for tent camping. It was a very nice Visitor’s Center/Book Store, and 2 women were behind the desk. Neither had any idea about the campgrounds, and they had no handouts or maps. One of them finally called somebody and told us that 4 campgrounds would accommodate RV’s, so off we went. I heard one of them say they needed to write that down in case anyone else asked. Guess it is there only to visit, not to inquire about the park! Perhaps it is because this is a national monument but is run by the US Forest Service.

It was late afternoon and we were tired, so we decided to stop at the first campground, Lake Paulina. Hard to believe that the lake wasn’t even visible from any of the sites, but it was a pretty, wooded area. We stopped at the water spigot to fill the tank, and were immediately attacked by tons of mosquitoes. Always surprises us to see them at such high elevations (6300 ft).  Jim said he was not staying there, so we drove to the farthest campground, East Lake. Unfortunately it was full because most of the sites were on the lake. Then it was back to Little Crater, which we had passed by. Luckily we got the last site on the lake, and we weren’t bothered by mosquitoes, so we were all happy. Here are the views from our site.

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Yesterday we hiked a few short trails in the Lake Paulina area. The Little Crater Overlook trail gave nice views of the lake and obsidian flows.

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We also drove up to Paulina Peak, the highest point in the park, at 7,985. It is a steep, sharply curving gravel road to the peak, with stunning 360 degree views from the top.  P7140010

There is a half mile trail to the spires on the right, which we hiked to. You can’t see them in the picture but some young guys were climbing these rocks, one in flip-flops, one barefoot. Oh to be young and stupid!

You can also barely see the snow covered peaks of the Cascades.



Also stopped at the Paulina Falls area. The sign said the falls had moved 200 feet a thousand or so years ago due to a major flood. There were huge boulders underneath and down the river.



This is a great place to get away from the summer heat. It’s been in the 30’s at night, upper 70’s during the day. Just about perfect.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful area, and I'm glad you had a chance to see it and explore some of the unique places here. We love it here in Oregon, and are so happy that you're going to come back.