Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Paulina Lake & Newberry National Volcanic Monument | La Pine, OR

This was my day. The reason we lugged the 40-lb blow up boat with us all the way across the country. The stars had finally aligned and we were leisurely camping out by a nice calm lake with time to spare, so I could do some serious fishing! And the place was just perfect - Paulina lake has formed in a caldera (a blown up top of a volcano), so due to a lack of natural rivers flowing into the lake, the fish have to be brought in. That's right - the lake was well stocked. To a point that dads bring their little kids here to fish - it's almost like fish in barrel.

So, guess how many fish I pulled out after spending 4 hours on the water?


Pretty sad... But the process itself was still pretty fun. I even made friends with fellow fishermen who wasn't having much more luck than me.


One of the reasons we came to Paulina lake was a recommendation from a local in Bend, OR (a short 20 miles away). We were told there are natural hot springs around the edges of this volcanic lake and one can dig up a private hot-spring-bath. Sounds so cool and epic in theory, but in the real world that just means sulfur smelling mud with lukewarm puddles. The timing was also a bit off, as the seismic activity was not at its peak, so perhaps at another time the experience could have been more rewarding. We'll never know.

After camping and fishing, we took a short hike to the nearby lava flows and drove to the top of Paulina Peak for some incredible views of the lakes below and the Cascade Range off in the distance. The lava flows had tons of glass-like rocks (called obsidian, as we learned). This stuff forms when the hot lava cools in the air, forming crystallized, brittle rock. When broken, the rocks can have very sharp edges, and sometimes are used as scalpels in plastic surgery.

Pretty cool place to visit on our way out of Oregon. One more stop at another volcanic lake in the next post...


See other Oregon posts here and more Pacific Northwest posts here.



  1. Don't worry, I wouldn't have gotten any fish either.
    Doesn't volcanic action intrigue you? I am always so amazed by it all! I grew in up in Flagstaff, Arizona where we had these huge cinder pits leftover from volcanoes, very cool.

    1. Yes, volcanic activity is so cool! That would be awesome to grow up in an area with that sort of thing nearby!

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