Few places showcase the geologic origins of Central Oregon as vividly as Newberry National Volcanic Monument. And you can explore it all on horseback!
One of my favorite trails at Newberry Crater is the South Rim Loop, a 13.5-mile loop with a 900-foot elevation gain. Highlights include spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains, Paulina and East Lakes, and the Big Obsidian Flow.
The loop starts at Chief Paulina Horse Camp and runs along the base of Big Obsidian Flow, a lava flow that occurred only 1,500 years ago (a mere blink of an eye in geologic terms).
It then climbs toward the crater rim on the Lost Lake Trail, offering amazing views of the Big Obsidian Flow, Paulina Lake, Paulina Peak, and the snow-capped Cascades before descending gradually to the bottom of the crater.
The South Rim Loop is a spectacular ride!