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

Length 0.6 mi Elevation gain 196 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Views

Rocky

Scramble

No shade

Historic site

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (4)
Tips

Note: Road is closed in winter to reach this trail. 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.

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (154)
Photos (113)
Recordings (99)
Completed (364)
Nensi P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Short hike. It’s rocky so wear appropriate footwear. Not recommended for dogs.

Brandi Bundy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

Short but rewarding

View Brandi's Recording
Brenda Osmun-VanderMeer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

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

Meg Nishimori
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Wear sneakers or hiking shoes cus you might get the little pebbles in your sandals!

Mark M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Nice trail. Not difficult, but worth it for a really unique experience. The landscape is really stark and is great for understanding the geologic history of the area. Not for dogs (we left our buddy at home for this one).

PhLo M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 05 2020
HikingRocky

Trail is open and in great condition. Zero snow remains in the area except possibly patches in shadows up on Paulina Peak which doesn't affect this short hike at all. Mom and I completed the easy loop after visiting a couple other hikes. There were a few people there, but not crowded at all. $5 day pass or NW Forest Pass required to park here and other attractions along NF 21. I've done this walk many times but always find it interesting.

View PhLo's Recording
Terry Jenkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
Hiking

Super cool & unique!! Definitely recommend this short stop and quick climb up to fields.

Andy Hitchcock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
HikingIcyOff trail

Not recommended for dogs due to the obsidian glass

View Andy's Recording
Julie Claussen
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 29 2019
Hiking

Road is closed in winter to reach this trail.

Karreen Romero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 09 2019
Hiking

This is fabulously unique. Definitely not your typical hike through the woods. It is short and relatively easy, but beyond the first viewpoint there are a couple of areas where you have to negotiate some big pieces of sharp obsidian almost the size of a boulder.

John Lippold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

I would recommend this trail to anyone wanting to see large pieces of obsidian and to look at the awesome power of lava flows. Not much shade and can get pretty bright and hot during the summer. Highly recommend.

View John's Recording
Michele Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 24 2019
Hiking

Super interesting! I can see why dogs aren't allowed. This trail would chew up their paws.

View Michele's Recording
Jon Murillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Sep 04 2019
HikingRocky

Great big beautiful Obsidian rocks everywhere. Illegal to remove from the trail with a 500.00 fine. Trail is easy but there are stairs at the beginning of the trail. Not good for disabilities. Dogs must wear shoes as the rocks are prolific and jutt out of the ground very sharp, and could easily injure your pup. I

Dawn Whitmire
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Sep 03 2019
Hiking

easy hike to the top and back. So much obsidian!!!! Anybody could do this hike.,Great views of flow, the trees, and Paulina Lake. Not supposed to take any obsidian from the site, but as long as its a small piece, I don't see the harm.

David Carlson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 02 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
View David's Recording
Nick Alfonse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 31 2019
HikingRocky
View Nick's Recording
Adam Sheaffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Really unique spot. Short stair walk followed by a kind free flow scramble over obsidian. Good for kids but probably not pets (sharp rocks.)

Josh B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Aug 16 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Josh's Recording
Kerrie P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 02 2019
Hiking

Wonderful and a pleasant surprise! We went in the evening and had the entire trail to ourselves!!

Martin Meinig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 30 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Martin's Recording
Beth Trubits
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 30 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

A beautiful northwest day! This trail and the interpretive information was more interesting than I was expecting--a pleasant surprise. Length of the trail was just right for the scenery. Definitely leave your dogs home due to the sharp obsidian all along the trail.

View Beth's Recording
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