Chief Paulina Horse Camp is the only horse campground located in Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Deschutes National Forest. A favorite for horse enthusiasts, the campground provides visitors with access to 50,000+ acres of lakes, lava flows and spectacular geologic features.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the areas unique geological features by exploring nearby Paulina Lake, located within the collapsed crater, or “caldera” of Newberry Volcano.
The lake covers a surface area of 1,531 acres and reaches depths of up to 250 ft., but neither Paulina Lake or its twin, East Lake, receives water from an inlet stream. Instead, each lake relies on relies on rain, snowmelt and hot springs for water.
Paulina Creek drains the lake and has chiseled a narrow gorge through the calderas west wall creating a remarkable twin waterfall. Thermal vents and hot springs along the lakes northeast edge help create a highly productive ecosystem.
Wetlands, diverse forests, and rocky slopes near the campground provide a necessary habitat for shorebirds, racoons, deer, bats, and the occasional black bear.
In September, the outlet of Paulina Lake may be choked with Kokanee salmon moving to spawn in Paulina Creek.
Visitors on horseback can explore the area on a variety of trails, with several trailheads located at the campground. Lakes, lava flows and forested areas provide a beautiful scenic backdrop for a variety of rides.
The Crater Rim Trail, considered one of the premiere high country trails in the area, boasts vast stretches of forest, desert and mountain views, with many access points and connector trails for convenient and customized rides.
For visitors who enjoy hiking, the Peter Skene Ogden National Scenic Trail parallels Paulina Creek as it ascends 8.5 miles to the spectacular Paulina Lake.
Lost Lake Trail traverses drier landscapes and heads up from the lakes into a more arid part of the Newberry Caldera. This trail affords some excellent views of The Big Obsidian Flow as well as pumice flats and other features of Newberry Volcanic National Monument. The start of the trail is near Big Obsidian Flow.
This campground provides the basic amenities for horse camping, including large equestrian sites with double or quadruple corrals and ample room for parking vehicles and trailers. Roads in the campground are unpaved as are the spurs.
While there is a water pump for the live stock, no drinking water is available. Restaurants and basic supplies are available at nearby resorts.
Lava Lands Visitor Center in nearby Bend, Oregon, is a great starting point for visitors to learn about the diverse landscape and history of the area through interpretive programs and exhibits.
Visitors can explore the Lava River Cave, also located in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. At 5,211 feet (1,588 m) in length, the northwest section of the cave is the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon.