Big Obsidian Flow Trail is a 0.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near La Pine, Oregon that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from June until October.

Length0.6 miElevation gain196 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsRunningLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleNo shadeHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (4)
Tips

SEASONAL CLOSURE: This area is subject to seasonal closure due to weather conditions. For more information, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/deschutes/recarea/?recid=66159 This is 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. Users will have great views up to the top of Paulina Peak above you and across Paulina Lake.

The obsidian shards can be as sharp as a scalpel, so be sure to watch your footing and your handholds. This might not be a hike for young children or dogs, and it's certainly not one for flip flops. There is NO shade on this hike, so be sure to bring water in the summer as the temps can get pretty high in the middle of all this black volcanic glass.

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Reviews (187)
Photos (191)
Activities (143)
Completed (554)
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Jasan Carsley
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Hiking
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Johnna Rippetoe
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Hiking
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C Taylor
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Hiking

Super interesting trail but for those with disabilities it is very challenging. For the most part I can hike the trails marked “easy” but I needed a lot of assistance negotiating the rough, rocky terrain on this hike. It was worth it, but very difficult and slow going.

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Lauren Edberg
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Hiking

Very cool spot, lots of easy scrambling

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Tracey Kearns
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HikingFeeGreat!

Lake was beautiful but got a little boring for us. We ended up taking a side trail, Little Crater loop and then found we could get to the Obsidian Flow.

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Heather Mewes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2020
Hiking

Short but somewhat challenging trail given the terrain is broken glass. Super interesting - like walking on another planet!

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Kurt S
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Hiking
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Thomas Cutshaw
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Hiking
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Ken R
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HikingNo shade
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Karen Kennedy
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Hiking
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John Watkins
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HikingGreat!

Loved it! Obsidians is one of my favorite rocks/glass so seeing these huge rocks of it was amazing. Never thought I’d see so much of it. It is mind blowing. Also found was seems to be a starting of a arrowhead but not finished. But the shape and top part of what a arrowhead looks like it matches identically but it isn’t thinned out to be sharp yet. But rather then that it has perfect size and shape of a arrow head. So that was pretty neat! Super beautiful there. Try this hike out it was great and short!

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Sean Stapleton
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Hiking
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Chuck Snevah
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Hiking
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chris graamans
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Hiking
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Kate C
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Hiking

Amazing rocks check it out.

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Heather Nash
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HikingFee

really beautiful trail lots of rocks lots of things to look at wear good shoes.

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Keenan Browe
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Hiking

Less obsidian than I had expected but still plentiful and fascinating to examine as an interested layman. Not a difficult trail, but only paved on the way up so you'll definitely want hiking boots.

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Tim Lewis
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Pretty neat hike crunchy hike. You walk over mostly pumice with no shade. Lots of obsidian eye candy as you venture up. Great views of Paulina peak. You need good shoes and trekking poles help.

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Bella Minor
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HikingRockyScramble

This is such a fun little trail. Make sure to wear good shoes on this trail. It is very rocky. Bring water because there is no shade.

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Heather Diaz
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Short. but super fun hike!! our 5 year old was able to easily manage it. And the rocks, views, and history behind the area is fascinating! there are some spots where the obsidian is on the path, making a step when you are not paying attention may be painful. there is also a long stairway headed to the trail, but not a big deal- if you need to take a few deep breaths at the top! There is also a bathroom in the parking lot for those who may be wondering.

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Ross Minor
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HikingRocky

I have done this trail ever since I was ten and I love it every time! Bring water as there is no shade and it gets hot very fast!

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Dulce Carolina
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Hiking

It was hot. Bring water, and sturdy shoes: trail is rocky. Beautiful views of the obsidian lava flows.

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ricci lim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Did this trail yesterday with my parents in their mid 60s around 8am. We encountered about 10 other people the entire time. Slight incline on a paved path from the parking lot to the stairs that will take you to the rest of the trail. You can see some of the obsidian from this paved path so if you had people in wheelchairs or strollers, they can still see the obsidian without having to climb. There is an info board talking about the different rocks in the area. The stairs are steel with grip, so not slippery at all. There are handrails available. The last few steps are stone. It’s a bit of a scramble in some spots of the trail but not too bad. The loop is short and you can see Paulina lake, mt bachelor, and south sister at the top. This trail is about 6000’ at the bottom so my parents had a little bit of a hard time because the air is thinner.

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Brandi Bundy
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Hiking

Short but rewarding

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Brenda Osmun-VanderMeer
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Very rocky, quite a few stairs to get up to the trail. Not a flat trail. The obsidian is very cool.

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