Newberry National Volcanic Monument
La Pine, Oregon High 81 Low 54
Today it is very warm. Tomorrow is predicted to be 10 degrees hotter. It still cools off for sleeping.
We decided to drive north to the Lava Lakes Visitor Center. It is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument which is part of the National Park System. We had noticed the large cinder cone called Lava Butte from Highway 97 on the way back from Bend.
First we listened to a range talk about the different types of volcanic rock found nearby. The rocks vary from Pumice, which is light enough to float, to Obsidian, which is very dense and hard. The early Indians used Obsidian for spears and arrow heads. The ranger told us that some surgical instruments use Obsidian for cutting tools because of its hardness and ability to stay sharp.
This piece of lava was very heavy. I don't remember when the ranger told us it was formed during the volcanic activity.
We then took a bus to the parking lot near the top of the cone. During the summer no private vehicles are allowed to drive to the top. There is a fire watch tower at the top with a small display area below the tower. It was a fairly steep climb to the tower on a paved trail. I found out how badly out of shape I’m in as the sign said elevation was only 5000 feet.
|These little flowers were growing out of the cinders.|
|Sorry this is hard to read, but it says there are 3400 volcanoes in the Cascade Range.|
Then there was a trail that took us down and around the top of the cone. There was a nice trail around the top where we could see into the part of the cone that had collapsed. Also from the top we got a view of a lot of the lava flows around the area.
|This is from on top looking into the cauldera.|
Off in the distance we go to see several snow capped mountains that the ranger told us were old volcanoes.
|Cindy thought this looked neat with all the liken all over it.|
After our visit to the Lava Butte and the Visitor’s Center we decided to drive to Paulina and East Lakes to see some of the south-east portion of the Monument. But before we got there we got to see a large herd of female Elk with their babies. They we right next to the fence by the RV Park we are in and they jumped the fence like it wasn’t there.
The two lakes are at about 6300 feet above sea level. They both seemed to have a lot of fishing going on. On the way back to the RV Park we stopped at the waterfall coming out of Paulina Lake. The falls are twin 80 foot waterfalls. The whole area reminded us of the Uinta Mountains in Utah.
|Part of the trail to the Falls.|
Thanks for visiting.