Exploring an Alpine and Apocalyptic Playground in Bend, Oregon
The last eruption of the Newberry Volcano (a brief 1,500 years ago) didn’t leave much behind—just a strange mix of alpine splendor and apocalyptic ruin. A perfect sportsman’s playground, in other words. Located 20 miles southeast of Bend, the dormant (but not at all extinct) shield volcano is a devastation leisure station. The mix of basaltic, andesitic, and rhyolitic lavas spewed over the eons creates an almost moon-like terrain (part of the volcano was even used during the Apollo program to train astronauts), plus obsidian fields and lava formations. But there’s also a pair of deep-water, trout-loaded lakes in the caldera (think a less-crowded Crater Lake split by a cinder cone), endless Deschutes National Forest trails, and an interactive learning exhibit at the Lava Lands Visitor Center. But get there before it’s all gone—in 1981, geologists measured temperatures of 510 °F just below the caldera floor (the hottest of any of the inactive Cascade volcanoes).