At only 1300 years old, the Big Obsidian Flow is the youngest lava flow known to exist in the state of Oregon. It is also one of the most interesting. Consisting of three different types of rock; white pumice, gray pumice and obsidian, it is just one of the great geological features to see while visiting the Newberry Crater National Monument. From the high point along the trail you will be able to see Paulina Peak, Paulina Lake, East Lake, and the rim of the Newberry Crater. The trail consists of a loop that is only 1 mile long round-trip. There are benches scattered throughout for a nice relaxing hike and there are plenty of informational plaques as well, to give you intresting tidbits.
Follow Highway 97 South of Bend for about 24 miles and take the road to your left with the pointer saying Paulina Lake/East Lake. Follow this road for approximately 15 miles, it is pretty well marked and hard to miss. There is a vault toilet available at the trailhead as well and plenty of parking.
A recreation pass is required when accessing anything in the Newberry Crater.
When to hike the Obsidian Trail?
I would recommend Summer or a time of year when there is no snow. For the only fact that the rocks would look much cooler if you can see them and they are not buried in snow. An interesting time to visit is in August as well, where there is a great frog migration that comes up from from Lost Lake. They apparently can number into the thousands, so WATCH YOUR STEP!!
"I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed."
--Hunter S Thompson