Paulina Falls Trail

Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon

Elevation Gain41ft
Trailhead Elevation6,273ft
Elevation Min/Max6264/6281ft
Elevation Start/End6273/6273ft

Paulina Falls Trail

Paulina Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Deschutes County, Oregon. It is within Newberry National Volcanic Monument. It is 0.1 miles long and begins at 6,273 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 41 feet. Near the trailhead there are a parking and restrooms. Near the end of the trail are viewpoints. This trail connects with the following: Paulina Falls Lower View.

Paulina Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series) (Falcon Guides)
Lizann Dunegan
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"This hike to the top of Paulina Peak begins with an easy jaunt through a beautiful pine and fir forest. But don’t be deceived. After half a mile things get steep and you’ll have to shift gears for the thigh-burning ascent to the summit. There, 7,984 feet above sea level, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of Paulina and East Lakes, Newberry Caldera, and the Big Obsidian lava flow. Established in 1990,the 55,000-acre Newberry National Volcanic Monument showcases Newberry Caldera, a 500-square-mile volcanic crater. This area is absolutely teeming with geologic history. You’ll find hot springs, lava flows, and cinder cones, all of which can be explored on well-established trails. One particularly noteworthy trail is the 3.0-mile path to the summit of 7,984-foot Paulina Peak,the highest point in the monument." Read more

Paulina Falls Trail Reviews

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The trail passes through some marshy areas filled with mosquitoes but take heart, they go away once you pass the marsh. Just like the book says, it becomes a little difficult to follow in spots but we just kept to the shoreline and did ok. There were signs everywhere about bear roaming at all hours. We saw none but still made sure we walked noisily and aware just in case. Bears don't like surprises. The only elevation gain is in one spot where you must climb up and over a rock outcropping. The views of the lake from the top are spectacular though and it is a real easy climb. On the west side of the lake the gnats were so thick we could hear them hitting our chests as we walked. Fortunately we had some bandannas and were able to cover our mouths otherwise we would have been swallowing and breathing thousands of gnats. I talked to someone after and there is only a short period of time when the gnat hatch happens that way so chances are you may not run into as many as we did but I would recommend being prepared. I have never experienced gnats that thick. Plan on taking your time. There are views galore and even a small hot spring to soak your feet. It is unmarked but look for it just after you cross the lava flows and just before you reach the ascent of the rock outcropping. It will be on your left , right by the lake and surrounded with rocks. It's not deep so it is just enough to soak your lower legs in but is a nice place to rest and marks the halfway spot of the loop. At the end of the trail you reach a resort and the trail disappears into a free-for-all of roads, driveways and dog tracks. Just stay close to the lake eventually the trail picks up again. I have put pictures from my hike at: If you go on this hike make sure you drive down to the Big Obsidian Flow afterwards. It's just a short jaunt up some stairs but it is fascinating.
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Beautiful! Peaceful! Bald Eagle sighting and sweet rope swing into clear, blue water on south side.

Paulina Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Nearby City
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Deschutes National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 63095 Deschutes Market Rd., Bend; (541) 383-5300;
Local Contacts
USGS Paulina Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018