For labor day weekend we decided to head to Bend and relax in some sunny dry weather. I had been to Newberry National Volcanic Monument several times but the only memories I have there are of a snow covered landscape riding our snowmobiles up to the peak. So this time, Brent and I decided to make the hike up the Peak and check out the obsidian flows.
The trail to the peak is clearly marked and relatively short, you do gain about 1,500 feet of elevation from the bottom of the caldera to the peak that sits at 7,985 feet. The views of the obsidian flows and lakes below are beautiful, and the landscape is very different than the flows below. It’s hard to fathom as you wander the summit area of that you are within a 17 square mile caldera at the summit of a 500 square mile volcano…. A volcano that remains very active to this day.
Newberry is both seismically and geothermally active. Geologists believe the caldera sits over a shallow magma body only 2 to 5 kilometers deep. When you visit you can see numerous cinder cones (over 400 throughout the area), miles of basalt flows, as well as rhyolite flows of obsidian.