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Mountain Bike Tracks at Paulina Lakes and Newberry National Volcanic Monument

High-altitude single-track around and through the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 29.4 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  One of the "signature" mountain bike trips in Central Oregon, this ride runs around and through the caldera comprising the... more »

Tips:  Bring plenty of water. There's none on the trail.

Warm clothing layers are strongly recommended, even in summer. On one trip I was... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Ride at Paulina Lake

The trailhead is about an hour from Bend. Getting there is easy. Drive south on highway 97 about 23 miles and turn left at Paulina Lake Road. From there the road climbs up to Monument, about 12 miles. Park is on the left just after the ranger station. (Don't forget your parking permit).

To the ride head east on the paved road about a quarter mile... More

2. Gravel Road climb up to the trail head and peak

The initial climb up the gravel road is gnarly. I've done it twice on a single speed - it hurt more the second time because you would have thought I got smarter... but didn't.

Head uphill a couple miles to the trailhead or keep going to the peak for a killer option.

3. Trail Head

The trail is well-marked and on the right at about 7500' elevation.

The trail drops off quickly with a couple of sharp turns right off the top and then runs out into a stride.

Keep rolling a couple miles till you hit the junction and need to decide between staying on the rim or dropping back into the basin.

4. Paulina Peak

If you have the energy continue climbing for another half mile past the trailhead up to the peak for some great scenery and a view of the ride you'll be doing.

Newberry Crater (National Volcanic Monument) is the remains of a volcano that blew up about half a million years ago. The caldera is about 10X the size of the Mt St Helens's and has been... More

5. South Rim Single Track

Once you leave the road you're in single track heaven. Conditions are excellent. Since you're riding mostly on volcanic rock, the trail can get a little soft during hot dry weather.

Be sure to stop and take in the views. The scenic pictures here show the views the obsidian flow.

Junctions are well marked.

6. Trail junction

Trail junction for the obsidian flow descent.

7. Big Cinder Hill Viewpoint

If you kept rolling on the rim trail you will ride through some great single track with some minor climbing.
At the Northeast corner you cross the Big Cinder Hill. Covered in Red volcanic pumice it is mostly treeless. A great stop for lunch and a view.

Keep rolling on the trail.

8. Obsidian Flow

The trail descends here past the Big Obsidian Flow. Pitch is steep and the views are beautiful. As you go past the obsidian flow you will see the glinting glass-like obsidian strewn everywhere.

9. Bail out route

If you are out of time or gas, this is a good bailout point. It's an easy ride back to the parking lot along the road.

10. Lake level ride back up to the rim

The trail through here is well used and part of the ride is along the road. There are some steep spots, but mostly it is very ridable and fun, passing by basalt lava flows and through denser forest as you climb back to the rim

11. Rim Trail Junction

The junction is well signed. If you are coming up the hill, head left.

Get ready for your last climb of the day. Also, in 2009 there were quite a few trees down across the trail.

12. Last viewpoint before long descent

After a last little bit of climbing you get to the summit and from here the trail is easy, fast, and fun.

Just keep rolling along the trail. Be ready for some steep descents.

13. End of the Ride

The last pitch of the ride is a fast descent. On top the trail can be a bit soft. As you drop into the trees the track widens and is a fast and fun romp through the forest.

The last view of the Lake - an inviting swim awaits!!!!