Big Obsidian Flow Trail is a 0.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near La Pine, OR that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A very unique hike through an obsidian lava flow beneath Paulina Peak in Newberry Crater, Oregon. Throughout the flow, there are interpretive signs telling the history of the area, from the eruption 1,300 years ago, to the colonization of plants and animals, to the use of the glass by native tribes and its trade throughout the west. You'll have great views up to the top of Paulina Peak above you and across Paulina Lake.
This place is pretty neat! Anyone passing through this area must see this. Just Awesome!
If you have an interest in geology then this place is a must. We found the Obsidian Flow fascinating and the interpretive signs very informative.
There is one thing you should be warned about however; this is NOT dog friendly and there is a warning sign advising you of same at the car park. This is due to the sharpness of rocks on the trail.
Though only short, the walk isn't easy, more your moderate grade. It's uphill and, at times, on rocky tracks.
The view from the top, while good, isn't as expansive over the lakes as you might expect. However, don't go for the views is my advice, go for the experience.
I had pictures to go with this but can't work out how to enter them.
Spectacular- it is like walking on a different planet. Worth the drive!
Beautiful landscape and view. Nice quick easy hike
Unique and beautiful. Great view of Paulina Lake. Fun to see the different forms of earth from the lava rocks, and pumice to the obsidian. Lots of information about it all as well!
Incredibly unique hiking experience and the views are spectacular. DO NOT WALK YOUR DOGS ON THIS TRAIL unless you have boots for them. Obsidian is sharp like glass and their pads will get cut and retain tiny slivers of obsidian.
Beautiful view in early spring. A little treacherous in icy weather.
This was a really interesting walk, the view was incredible and the hike itself fairly easy. Lots of good geological history!
I think we hiked this trail on the last day of the season before the park closed according to the park telephone hotline and the fact that all resorts, the visitors center and the park kiosk where they usually take your money were all closed. We drove right in to the parking lot of the trailhead surrounded by a few inches of snow that had fallen a few days before. Outside temperature was 34 degrees but that did not stop us. The trail is paved for a few hundred feet before you reach the metal staircase that takes you up to meet the trail proper. As the name of the trail indicates, this is a massive two hundred foot high outpouring of various volcanic rock types. Obsidian is a major component and the huge black glass boulders are just spectacular. The upper trail is rocky but can be negotiated in normal shoes if you watch your step. A nice view of Pauline Lake can be seen from the top and most likely a view of Pauline Peak as well but today it was shrouded in cloud cover. There were many other hikers on the trail today and gathering by the size of the parking lot, this trail is heavily used in the summer months. I'm sure the views are much more colorful when the landscape isn't covered in snow but there is a certain beauty this time of year withe the white snow contrasting against the black glass rocks.
This is a pretty easy and laid back trail, winding through the naturally formed volcanic glass. The trail is uneven and rough in some spots, but is mostly free of debris. The trailhead is located in a fee area, with plenty of parking. Informational placards are found throughout the hike, and excellent views of Paulina lake can be seen from the summit.