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Paulina Peak Trail

HARD 124 reviews

Paulina Peak Trail is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near La Pine, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and nature trips and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,607 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

Trail begins just past the Visitor's Center. You can either drive or hike to the top for a dramatic view of Bend and the Sisters Volcano Complex. This is one of those "must see" things in Oregon. This peak is the highest point of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. There are plenty of campground spots along the lakes where you can spend the night in preparation for a very early rise to do this trip.

hiking
rocky
snow
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked 10/5. About 2 inches snow on ground. The two steepest parts of the trail were very icy. Not bad going up, but we decided to come down on the road to avoid them on the way back. Great workout, great for our dogs. So many beautiful views. Infinitely better than just driving up there. Definitely recommend. Trail well marked. Not crowded.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

We started the hike from the second parking lot. From the second parking lot, the trail is 2 miles one way meaning this trail is a little steep. When we hiked, in some parts of the trail where it is mostly in the shadow, the trail is icy. That makes it difficult to hike. So if you use micro-spikes, it will be very useful and much safer specially when you hike down. There are many fantastic viewpoints on this trail. But the view at the top (Paulina Overlook), is fabulous. Both Paulina lake and East lake are visible with the view of the Cascades and forest. It is really splendid! We were lucky that it was completely clear and sunny. If you don't want to hike, you could drive all the way up to the overlook. One of my friends drove up there and gave me a ride back down which was nice given the icy conditions of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

It was challenging without a doubt, but worth it for the views. Not a fan of the ending being a parking lot full of people taking photos and talking on their phones though, kind of sullied the feeling of accomplishment for us. Just a little too people-y up there for me.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views, very steep in some sections. Small gravel pull out on the right. Trailhead is on the left :) We even saw some deer on trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Specific trailhead was a bit hard to find, and the peak was a parking lot. Steep hike at first but the views were pretty!

hiking
3 months ago

This was an amazing but very difficult hike. There were dogs, but most were off leash. Fresh rain kept dust off trail. Totally worth the difficult trek.

hiking
3 months ago

Wow... this hike is definitely a difficult one! I hiked it 13 weeks pregnant and had to take a few breaks but it was doable. Unfortunately we ended up with terrible weather for most of our hike so our view was obstructed by rain and fog but was still an awesome view! I can only imagine how nice it must be on a clear day!

hiking
3 months ago

Steep but so worth the view from the top. From this perch on a clear day you can see Central Oregon in all its glory!

hiking
3 months ago

Perfect hike to an enchanted summit!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this 7/27/19 and what a great experience. It wasn’t too heavily traveled. We started at the lake like one description stated. I recommend going in past the info building and making first right and drive up to the actual trailhead. We ended up traveling 6.5 miles from lake and would have much rather saved one mile to and from trailhead for another hike. Clark nutcrackers were fun to watch and listen to. Learning about the white bark pines was a value added experience. Very breezy at top but the cook was welcoming.

hiking
4 months ago

Recommend for moderately strenuous hike with great views.

hiking
5 months ago

Snow free, gorgeous views. Well maintained trail

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing views

hiking
5 months ago

Trail’s in good shape; still some snow in the upper trees but not enough to lose the trail.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Great hike 6-16-19 start out nice and easy 3/4 mile. you cross the FS road still closed for waiter.then it’s up you go. Lost the trail with 1/2 mile to go due to snow just kept heading up !!found it!! Sunny day had the top to my self a hour. Big Mistake hiked road down to miss the slippery snow add on two miles not much shade but no snow

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
snow
5 months ago

Hiked 6/15, road was closed, and we started a little late. Markers were fine the first 2 miles up, but were poorly marked between 2-2.5 miles. there were patches of snow and we lost track of markers on the way back down and ended up far from the trail and by the gravel road so we slid down the pyroclastic flow and walked all the way back down the road. Recommend having trail map when snow is present.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

As of 6/13/19, snow starts to bury the trail around mile 2 of this AllTrails route. There are trees with blue diamond markers throughout to point the way, but I did find it useful to have the downloaded map + prior hikers' footprints to follow. The NF road to the peak was closed today so hiking up was the only option! Having done both (driven to the peak in 2016 and now the hike), I highly recommend this hike! My favorite hike and my favorite lake - there's just nothing like it. Don't skip this beautiful view! *Camping pro-tip* Paulina Lake campground barely has any views of the lake - try to get a spot at Little Crater instead!

hiking
closed
snow
6 months ago

I did the hike to the peak on May 26th. The entire time up, the snow was about 2-3 feet deep. This made the hike extremely difficult. But once I got to the top, it was beyond amazing! Speechless. And since the drive up to the peak is still closed, due to the snow, I was completely alone, which was awesome!

hiking
7 months ago

READ THIS before you go! DO NOT follow google maps for driving directions but rather watch for signs on major road for Newberry Volcanic monument and Paulina lake! Google maps took us to a small VeRY rutty service road! We had a rented camper van and eventually parked it about 1 and 1/2 miles from what turned out to be a major road leading to Paulina Lake. After realizing all park offices are closed we found a trail map and managed to get to Paulina falls. It was breathtaking but a short hike from the lake. Walking AGAIN on the road we tried several different snow covered trails but eventually turned around and never did find a trail leading to Paulina peak.

hiking
Sat Sep 22 2018

Few people on the trail. Secluded forest trail that opens up to breathtaking view of the Paulina caldera. A little steep at times that makes it a difficult trail to hike.

Fri Sep 14 2018

Hiked this morning from the boat landing. A bit nippy and our first frost sighting of the year. Hike was great. Fantastic views and good morning of exercise. Best of all, no cars at the top.

hiking
Sun Jul 08 2018

This hike is awesome. I can understand lacking motivation to do it since you can also drive to the top, and tons of people do that very thing. Nevertheless, there are views along the hiking trail that cannot be seen any other way than hiking the trail. I'm talking awesome views! Well worth the steep climb up. I see no reason to start at Paulina Lake along the Crater Rim Trail as this route suggests. Drive 0.7 miles on the road toward Paulina Peak, and you will find a gravel parking area and trailhead. The section of trail from the lake not very interesting anyway. From the trailhead mentioned, it is two miles up and two miles back for a total of four miles. On your way up, watch for side trails to huge rocks. These side trails offer some awesome view angles. Be very careful though! Don't let small children play close to the cliff edges. I don't recommend climbing the huge rocks that jut out. It's tempting, but they are vertical climbs and dangerously situated on the edge of doom below. Just get close enough to the rocks to snap photos of the lakes below or of Paulina Peak above (the trail's destination).

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