What do you like to do when visiting Sunriver? Bike riding, swimming and floating the river are a must. If you find yourself with the time or desire to take a day trip from Sunriver, the Newberry Volcano area is a nearby and beautiful location to explore. And, you can do it in a day trip.
From Sunriver, head south on highway 97 for about 9 miles. Turn left onto Paulina Lake Rd (you will see signs directing you to Paulina and East lakes from the highway). Drive up this road for about 13 miles and you’ll be at the Paulina Lake Visitors Center. From here, there are lots of options for hikes, enjoying time on the shores of a lake, renting a boat and being on the lake and all-in-all exploring and taking in the natural beauty of the area.
Walk the Big Obsidian Flow:
A one-mile interpretative trail weaves you up and through a breathtaking 1300 year old obsidian flow. With amazing views of the Cascade Mountains, Paulina and East Lakes and so much more, you will be glad you took this walk. If you visit during the summer, be sure to wear sunscreen and bring lots of water. The shiny black rocks heat up fast and hot on summer days. This is a short and fairly easy walk, but wear good shoes and be prepared for hills as it is a rocky trail and you do gain some elevation. If you bring your dog along for this day trip, be sure to bring some boots for their paws, as there are lots of jagged rocks on the trail.
With a beautiful shoreline setting, a restaurant and a marina, the East Lake Resort is a great stop for your day trip up to the Newberry volcano area. Rent a stand up paddle board at the marina, then grab some lunch at the Blue Duck Grill, or just take a stroll along the shore and take in the fresh mountain air and the beauty of the area.
The Paulina Lake Lodge is another option for a lunch or dinner stop on your adventure. Known for its Prime Rib and homemade cobblers, the food is tasty and the atmosphere is relaxing. Call ahead of time to be sure they’re open on your adventure day and to make a reservation if necessary.
If you’re up for a bit of a hike and a hot spring adventure head to the Little Crater Campground and find parking at the Lakeshore Loop Trail trailhead at the far end of the campground. Take a two-mile walk along the east shore of the lake to find Hot Springs Beach. Find these primitive hot springs at the north end of the beach right on the shoreline. Hunker down into one of the log lined hot springs, enjoy the views and the minerals and remember to leave no trace please!
Paulina Creek Falls:
After exploring Paulina and East lakes and when you are heading back towards Sunriver, plan on just two more stops. First, you will see signs for the Paulina Creek Falls. Upon parking, find a paved trail and walk a quarter mile to the top of the falls and enjoy the thrill of looking over the 80 foot tall falls. Take another portion of path down to the bottom and you’ll be able to see the falls from below. Watch the pair of falls flow onto the rocky ground below from two viewing areas. Be sure to carry your camera with you on this beautiful walk!
As you head back to your cozy Sunriver vacation rental after a long day of exploring, be sure to make one last stop at the viewpoint just down the road and on the opposite side as the falls. If you’ve soaked up the whole day exploring the caldera, you may be lucky enough to make this stop at sunset to watch the sun sink behind the Cascade mountains creating a palette of colors that seem indescribable.
Still planning your Sunriver stay? Be sure to book your vacation rental as soon as you can to take advantage of the widest selection and best pricing.