[/caption] The Lava Butte Geological Area, just outside of Bend, offers a great spot to relish in Central Oregon’s volcanic past. The Deschutes river is hidden between the lava fields and the forest, which boasts some spectacular rapids and crystal clear water. You can also catch a great sunrise at this very spot since you’re pretty much looking directly east, with the desert mountains in the horizon.
[/caption] Newberry Crater is one of the best places to visit in Oregon if you want to get the most of everything in one park. Paulina Creek spills from one of the the Caldera lakes and eventually spills over an impressive waterfall. There are two huge Caldera lakes that were formed when the volcano erupted and then several other eruption’s also created the Big Obsidian Flow and other historical features throughout the park. There is also a lakeshore hot springs, the gigantic flow of obsidian glass and a miniature cinder cone crater. There are several hiking and mt. biking trails throughout the park as well as the steep trail that takes you to the summit of 7,984 Paulina Peak. Paulina Peak is the dominant peak that’s left of the Caldera when it exploded. Most of the crater’s edges around the volcano were mostly leveled by the force of the explosion. There are two Caldera Lakes which are Paulina Lake and East Lake. Each lake is teaming with trout and salmon. As you drive towards the summit area 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. Newberry Crater is considered an active volcano that is expected to erupt again. It’s made up of ash, pumice, lava, cinders and mudflows and contains about 100 cubic miles of volcanic material. There are several campsites and several small cabins that you can rent. The great thing about this place is that you will eventually learn a lot about geology without even realizing it. This shot was taken from the summit of Newberry Crater. There are several short hiking trails at the summit and there is a fairly short but very rough gravel road that takes you to the summit. On a clear day you can see several cinder cones dotting the Central Oregon landscape as well as several of the Cascade Mountains. However, there was a large forest fire that caused the forest below to be covered in haze as well as the sky. I decided to use this photo since it shows both lakes and the Big Obsidian Flow below. You can also see the giant cinder cone separating the two lakes. To get this shot I used my 12-24mm wide-angle lens and had the focal length at 13mm. I wasn’t using my tripod since there was limited shadows and full light. I had the camera in Program mode and I was using my CIR-PL, warming filter and my UV filter to cut down on the brightness of the sky and field of view. The F stop was at 7 and the ISO was at 100. I set the white balance to 0 since I was facing directly away from the sun but there was a strong haze that created too much darkness when I trial to reduce the white balance. The exposure time was 1/100 of a second. Having some clouds helped give it some personality but the hazy sky really made this shot difficult and there really isn’t much you can do when there is a forest fire nearby and lots of haze to contend with.