Paulina Lake Loop Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near La Pine, Oregon that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
383 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly




horseback riding





hot springs




wild flowers





This trail is mostly flat with a few uphill areas. The views of the lake and caldera are great. There are hot springs along the lakeshore. Scenic trail with mostly dirt beneath your feet, although there are several rocky areas. Easy difficulty mostly flat with a few up and down areas.

2 months ago

Has all the different types of terrain to see in the area; forest, swamp, desert with lava rock, ect. Absolutely beautiful!

2 months ago

Would like to hike this whole trail. It’s a serine lake with a variety of vegetation. Peaceful and enjoyable.

3 months ago

Beautiful views, and amazing geology with very little effort, but it's also not a one-mile-and-done tourist trail. Even on a weekend day in midsummer, I had it all to myself, and there were only a few other folks at the springs.

4 months ago

Meh.. it’s pretty and the water is beautiful but the bugs were OUT OF CONTROL! So many nats and mosquitos. The “hot springs” are saying it nicely... they’re shallow but do provide a lot of heat.

4 months ago

Fun trail with great views of the lake. Definitely recommend starting early and wearing solid hiking shoes as some of the terrain can get a bit sketchy. Otherwise very easy for pros, maybe a little challenging for novices. Took about 3 hours.

4 months ago

While not much elevation gain/loss, there is varied terrain throughout this hike. Dirt, rock, gravel, sand; need to watch your footing as it's easy to trip. The views around the lake are gorgeous. I recommend starting your hike about 10 - 11 am, hike to the hot springs on the edge of the lake (about halfway around and marked), each lunch and relax, then finish.

I've hiked quite a few trails around Central Oregon and really enjoyed this one. Would do again.

4 months ago

The lake was pretty, but it was congested with campers. The views of the lake were the same the whole trail.

4 months ago

Cool hike but the view was the same throughout it.

4 months ago

great hike! Hiked at night with headlamps with a few other friends. if you know the trail well enough, you can find the natural hot springs! very cool.

5 months ago

Easy loop trail around the lake. Views are spectacular. Water on the far side of the lake is emerald green. Could sit and look at Paulina peak for a long time. Weather cooperated in a beautiful 65 degree cloudless way. Saw a soaring bald eagle and several osprey.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Parked near the camp grounds and walked the little crater trail then on to the "hot springs". Nice view of the large obsidian flow south of the lake from the little crater trail. Continued on along the lake trail to the "hot springs" past a cool pumice and obsidian flow. A couple of wet marshy areas along the way had some bugs but not too bad. The "hot springs" were really one or two holes dug into the grassy shoreline, and not what we were expecting. Great views, beautiful lake, and a very easy trail at least on the east side. Would have done the entire lake lol but the kids were burnt out for our previous days trips.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Great for swimming, fishing and extremely shallow hot springs.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Good hike with varied terrain; water along the way at campground-spotted a snake along the trail.

Monday, July 24, 2017

This is the most beautiful and peaceful lake! While there isn't a lot of elevation gain on the loop, it's still 7.5 miles so wouldn't be easy for everyone. The hot springs are down a marked spur trail a little more than a mile after Little Crater Campground if hiking the loop counter clockwise and they were HOT when we were there. The little bar at the lake resort is a fun post-hike stop!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There is a section of trail with sharp lava & obsidian flow. Could be hard on a dog's feet! Beautiful hike all the way around...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just beautiful! I do agree with the rating, as parts of the trail weren't easy. The views of the lake are stunning. We took our dog and he did a great job! It was a bit challenging on some of the narrow parts of the trail, and we were lucky to have the trail to ourselves

Monday, August 22, 2016

This was an awesome hike! Very beautiful and much variety in terrain. You go through forests, obsidian flow, boulders and a short part through a campground! But I think the rating of "easy" is misleading. Walking through the obsidian flow and over the boulders while on the side of a mountain adds a challenge.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good loop. Kinda weird walking through a parking lot during the loop though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This trail is awesome!! I didn't do the whole thing but made it to the hot springs. We turned into little crater campground and kept right. If you drive through the campground there is a day use parking lot at the end. The trail is pretty mellow. We went mid June and there were quite a few muddy spots so wear appropriate shoes. The views of newberry were amazing the whole time. About 2 miles in, once you get into the more forresty area, there is an unmarked trail to the left. This steel trail leads down to the hotsprings directly on the lake. They were somewhat shallow. I was told to bring a shovel. We did, but didn't end up using it. The pools vary in heat, some of which were almost unbearable to sit in. If you do bring a shovel, you can scoop cold water from the lake into it to bring it to a desired temperature. Very pretty and worth the hike!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A beautiful hike that felt longer than 7.5 miles! It takes you through lava & obsidian flow that can cut up a dog's feet, if they aren't wearing boots.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Great overall hike! Plenty of spots to stop and take photos of the surrounding areas and wildlife. Today there were two places dug out where you could stop and enjoy the hot springs and enjoy the view!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Beautiful, easy hike for all fitness levels. Great photography spots and picnic areas along the way.

Friday, September 05, 2014

This was a beautiful short hike! We stopped on the north shore to dip in the hot springs. A little crowded but everyone was friendly. Finding the trail heading west was a bit tricky from the hot springs. We ended up bushwhacking a bit up a hill. We kept heading up and found it eventually. Pro tip: remember where the path is and go back to it. Other than that, it was beautiful, even on a rainy day. =)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Good 3-4 hours to do this one. Mosquitos can be bad around slide area.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paulina Lake and the neighboring lake, East Lake, are old, deeeeep craters from an ancient volcano explosion that have filled in with rain water and snow melt. The giant bulge between the two is the reforming mountain! Some of that snow melt and rain gets super heated under ground. The hot springs along Paulina Lake can be accessed from this trail. On the northeast "corner" of the lake there are pumice beaches and swamps. Dig into the rocky beach and you'll find hot water, right along the cold lake shore! Every time I have gone to these hot springs there has been two or three pre-dug, soaking tubs/holes. I highly recommend seeking out this spot on the trail or boating to the beach. Going from soaking in the rocky hot springs to jumping directly into the cold lake, on a hot day, nothing beats it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More like a walk than a hike, I still love this trail. Very pretty, and there are several cute picnicking areas to enjoy lunch at along the way.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easy, scenic hike with good fishing spots along the banks.

15 days ago

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