Newberry Volcano is the largest in the Cascade volcanic arc located about 20 miles south of Bend Oregon. Newberry covers an area 75 miles long and 27 miles wide and has many very good examples of volcanic activity in the area. There are cinder cones with distinct craters, a 4 x 5 mile caldera, crater lakes, lava beds, lava caves and a large obsidian flow.
First let’s distinguish a crater from a caldera. A crater is basically a vent for volcanic activity, an outlet for lava, volcanic gases, magma, etc and in our experience is usually conically shapes but upside down. A caldera on the other hand is formed when a large eruption leaves a huge empty chamber underground where the magma was held. When the material on top of this empty chamber collapses a caldera is formed. This is not always the end of the volcano as molten lava under enough pressure will find another way out either creating a vent or crater within the caldera or opening another vent and creating another cone.
Lava Butte is a cinder cone within the national monument that you can drive up to view the surrounding lava fields and the crater. Below is the crater and the surrounding lava beds.
Several miles south of Lava Butte is the Newberry caldera. We drove up Paulina point for a great view of the caldera and two crater lakes contained within the it. Paulina Lake to the west and East Lake in the east (hence the name “East lake”).
The large grey/white area south of and between the lakes is the obsidian flow. This is the newest addition to the Newberry Volcanic exhibits dated to about 1,300 years ago. Obsidian is a black volcanic glass that within this flow is mixed with white and grey pumice. There is a trail thru part of this flow that was very interesting. It was other worldly. Notice the edge of the flow, stopped in its tracks it is about 40 feet higher than the surrounding landscape. Pretty cool.
We also visited this nice little waterfall on the way to Newberry, Tumalo Falls dropping 97 feet!!!
Peace Love and Keep the volcanos quite!!!