Newberry Volcanic National Monument – Part 2

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Part 2:  Exploring from Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver Base Camp

We are at Thousand Trails Bend-Sunriver just south of Bend Oregon to wrap up our visit to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument (Newberry NVM) in central Oregon.  The campground is very large with 2 pools and the Little Deschutes river running alongside the property.  It is a perfect place for a base camp to explore more of the Newberry Volcano  after spending over a week at Lake Paulina in the volcano caldera.

See Part 1 when we camped at Lake Paulina inside the cauldera here.

The campsites are large and spaced apart at Bend-Sunriver.  There is an unfenced leash-free area for dogs along the river.  There are also trails and a fire road for some great walking.  I also took the telescope out to the dog area because it is surrounded by high bushes for less light interference.

Observatories

There are 3 observatories in the area.  I visited the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver where there were more than a dozen telescopes set up looking at the stars and planets.  The University of Oregon also has an observatory at Pine Mountain (Pine Mountain Observatory) that is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays during the warm months.  Also, the Worthy Brewery in Bend has a “hopservatory” up on their roof.  Plus there are lots of places east of Bend in the desert where you can find a dark spot and set up your telescope or break out the binoculars.

Here’s a few pictures taken out by the dog field using the camera.

Map of Area

Exploring the Lava Cast Forest

The Lava Cast Forest in the Newberry Volcano area was created 6,000 years ago.  As the lava flow wrapped around trees, it cooled and hardened, leaving the imprint of the trees and the trees burned and rotted away.  Many used to be 5 to 10 feet tall, but scavengers broke up most of the larger examples.  Even so, it is a fascinating walk peering down the holes where trees once stood thousands of years ago.   You can see the imprint from the bark that was on the trees! Easy walk and you can bring your dogs as well.

Check out our Lava Cast Forest Pictures

Newberry NVM Lava River Cave

The Lava River Cave is another cool place to visit at the Newberry Volcano.  This is the longest lava tube in Oregon and is 80,000 years old.  Just to put it into perspective – the oldest lava flow on Newberry Volcano is 400,000 years old, and the most recent is 1,300 years old.  Scientists believe Newberry first erupted about 600,000 years ago.  It is still an active shield shaped stratovolcano, with over 400 vents (the most of any volcano in the lower 48 states).

And, it’s DARK!  At nearly a mile long with no lights along the path, did I say it is DARK?  Of course I brought a flashlight.  But Christine wanted to make sure we had light, so she rented one at the ranger station.  And, it is a good thing she did since the batteries in my torch went out after a few hundred steps.  We held hands after that so I didn’t get lost in the dark.  A couple of times Christine turned her flashlight off just to see what it is like to be in the dark.  I could have told her, since I spend a lot of time in the dark… ok just kidding (a little bit).  At the point where you can no longer go any further, she turned off the light again.  You suddenly starts thinking of all of the scary movies you ever watched and quickly turn the light back on.  Easy walk with a few places that have rocks you walk around or over and two sections that if you are tall, need to duck because of low ceilings.

Here are some Lava Tube Pictures

Driving up to Lava Butte

Lava Butte is part of the Newberry Volcano, and is a large cinder cone.  During the summer a bus is provided because of the small parking lot at the top of the cone.  We visited after Labor Day so we just had to wait 45 minutes until the next set of 10 or so cars were allowed up to the top.  We picked a magnificent day that had less smoke haze from the forest fires so we got better views of the Cascade mountains and the Newberry Volcano.  We heard that on a very clear day you could see Mt. Shasta.

Lava Butte Pictures

Newberry Volcanic Monument Video (Part 2)

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a very pretty drive around Mount Bachelor just south of Bend and west of the Newberry Volcano.  Poor Bachelor – always just a little ways away from the Three Sisters, 3 stratovolcanos just west of the Newberry Volcano.  Lots of lakes and views of the mountains.  It is an easy drive to make after a late breakfast since it is 66 miles long.  We took the dogs and they swam at a couple of the lakes.  Watch out though!  Some of the lakes have toxic algae in them.  We had to wipe the dogs down after they got near some of the algae.

Cascade Lakes Pictures

Cascade Lakes Video

This wraps up our 5 1/2 week tour of central Oregon.  On to California (or bust!) next.

Happy Trails!

 Instagram – #trippinwiththeengles
 Facebook Trippin Engles (https://www.facebook.com/rvbuiltfortwo/)
YouTube Trippin
Engles

Follow Us at RVBuiltForTwo.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.