Newberry Caldera / Lakes Tour

The Newberry Caldera is 4 by 5 miles, containing two scenic, alpine lakes surrounded by mixed conifers, rugged cliffs, and a large and recent obsidian flow. The caldera is a small part of the Newberry Volcano, a 600,000-year-old, relatively flat, shield volcano in Central Oregon, about the size of Rhode Island. Your tour will start at the Sunriver Lodge and, within a few minutes, begin the sports car road ascent to the caldera. One of your first stops on the ascent will be an overlook that looks back onto Central Oregon, its valley and eight Cascade Mountains. After you pass through the Newberry National Park entrance, the road continues up to the caldera’s two lakes, Pauline Lake and East Lake. Just before Paulina Lake there will be a stop and short walk to see the Paulina Falls overlook. The stop includes sightseeing and a restroom break.

Our next stop will be at Big Obsidian Flow. The stop includes snacks and a short walk to the obsidian. The flow occurred about 1300 years ago and is the most recent lava flow in the Northwest. Be sure to wear good shoes as the ground is covered with shards of very sharp obsidian. Here you will listen to a short presentation about the obsidian flow and its value to native peoples in the Pacific Northwest. Continuing on our tour, you will drive to East Lake, the second lake in the caldera. East Lake is also very scenic alpine lake. From our parking area you can also see much of the collapsed structure of the caldera. You will also be able to look back at Paulina Peak, the highest point around the edge of the caldera. Oregon’s highest road (an SUV road) leads right up to the top.

The tour then heads back down the caldera to the main highway (Hwy. 97) and on to Bend where the tour will end.  We will enjoy lunch next to the Deschutes River at Anthony’s Sea Food Restaurant in the Old Mill District and experience views of the river and mountains.  The Old Mill District is known for its shopping, dining, and arts. After lunch you can check out the Old Mill District or return to Sunriver.

Check out:  Newberry Volcano Virtual Geology Tour - YouTube


Drive Dates: Thursday and Friday September 15 & 16, 2022
Tour Distance: 120 miles
Tour Duration: 5 hours

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