Description - Visitors (including teachers, geologists, and students) come from all over the world to view Newberry Volcano's remarkable and easily accessible volcanic features, shaped by eruptions spanning the past half-million years. Within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, one finds some of the most unique attractions in the nation. Cinder cones, pumice cones, lava flows, including obsidian flows, Lava Cast Forest, caves, lakes, streams, and waterfalls all attract visitors to this marvelous area.
- The Big Obsidian Flow, created 1,300 years ago, covers 700 acres. The black, shiny obsidian field is easily accessible from good roads or a new trail that traverses the flow.
Throughout much of the monument, you can view major lava flows that record the geologic history of the area. One flow changed the course of the Deschutes River. Another sudden lava flow created Lava Cast Forest, where visitors can see molds of downed trees and stumps frozen in time when the lava cooled.
At least one cave, Lava River Cave, is located within the monument. Visitors can reach it easily by road and explore it using lanterns.
Some of the finest fishing in Central Oregon occurs within the Newberry caldera, at Paulina and East Lakes. The 10-mile long Paulina Creek flows out of Paulina Lake. In addition, three major waterfalls, Benham, Dillon and Lava Island, occur along the Deschutes River in the northwest corner of the monument.
A 30-member committee, formed in 1988 by local citizens, wrote the bill creating Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Composed of environmentalists, forest industry leaders, recreation club representatives, geothermal interests, local government, and others, the group met regularly with Forest advisors to settle proposed boundaries.
Complex issues such as resolving geothermal claims already in existence and satisfying commercial timber and recreation concerns challenged the committee. The final bill, approved by Congress and signed by President Bush in November 1990, reflected the consensus reached by committee members after careful consideration of all these issues.
Provisions included in the bill allow current geothermal leases to continue in designated special management and transferal areas. In many cases, surface entry is not allowed within these areas, which total 10,300 acres.
Recreation - Newberry National Volcanic Monument is also a recreational playground for thousands of visitors each year. Newberry Crater holds two alpine lakes, East and Paulina, which are home to trophy-size brown and rainbow trout, as well as kokanee and Atlantic salmon. Seven campgrounds in the Crater, offer shoreline camping, boat ramps, sanitary facilities, group camping, and a horse camp with equestrian trails. In the winter, the Crater is a popular destination for both snowmobilers and cross-country skiers. Miles of trails run through the Monument, offering visitors year round opportunities for hiking and exploring. Hiking trails, include the popular Peter Skene Ogden National Recreation Trail and other trails lead to major lava flows and around portions of the crater rim. The northwest border of the Monument is the Wild and Scenic Deschutes River, where river rafters and kayakers bounce through whitewater rapids formed by narrow channels carved through the lava.
A wildlife refuge already exists within the caldera rim, and it will continue to be managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The remainder of the monument is managed for hunting under state laws.
Climate - With its huge elevation range, climate on the Deschutes changes drastically depending on elevation. The high elevations receive much more precipitation and colder temperatures. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April, mostly in the form of snow in the higher elevations. Winter temperatures can drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days, with warm to hot temperatures at the low elevations and moderate temperatures at the higher elevations. Summer afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon.
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument, located about ten miles south of Bend in Central Oregon, is one of the nation's newest national monuments.