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Big Obsidian Flow - Newberry Crater

A stroll over the surface of the moon on volcanic glass from the Newberry Crater
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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.7 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour

Overview:  There are few places in the continental United States where you can walk in a landscape so utterly foreign. The Big Obsidian Flow is a... more »

Tips:  The obsidian shards can be as sharp as a scalpel, so be sure to watch your footing and your handholds. This might not be a hike for... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead w/ Bathrooms

2. Lava Dam

This lava dam holds back the small lake to the east.

3. Observation Deck

4. Small Lake

This bright green lake is held back by the lava flow you're walking on right now.

5. Obsidian

Though the whole landscape is obsidian here, watch for the subtle (or dramatic) differences between the colors and textures. The dark, glossy black is pure glass, while the frothy gray is filled with trapped bubbles of gas from the lava.

6. Paulina Peak

Watch for Paulina Peak on the horizon, the highest point on the Newberry Caldera rim.

7. Life on the Moonscape

Even in the sterile glass landscape of Big Obsidian Flow, life is returning. Small trees have taken root in several places, beginning to break down the rock for nutrients.

8. Layers of Obsidian

Check out the layered glass of these standing boulders.