Little Crater Campground

Little Crater Campground

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Overview

Situated on the edge of the beautiful Paulina Lake, Little Crater Campground is conveniently located within Newberry National Monument. Visitors to this area are taken aback by the incredible views this area has to offer, highlighting volcanic landscapes intermixed with diverse forests, typical of central Oregon.

Popular for both its geological significance and multitude of recreational activities, Little Crater Campground is ideal for individual and family camping excursions. If you are visiting Oregon with the aim of getting the best camping experience, this might be it. Offering campsites next to Paulina Lake, activities available at this campground include hiking, bird watching, bicycling, sightseeing and access to nearby trails.

For more information about the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/deschutes/recarea/?recid=66159  

Recreation

The unique location of Little Crater Campground offers visitors opportunities to hike shoreline trails and alpine vistas.

Visitors can also take advantage of time on the lake, boating, kayaking, swimming and fishing.

For anglers, this lake offers fantastic fishing opportunities. Spanning a surface area of 1,531 acres, the lake supports rainbow trout, brown trout and Kokanee salmon.

In September, the outlet of Paulina Lake may be choked with Kokanee moving to spawn in Paulina Creek.

Facilities

There are 49 sites located on a fairly thin ledge right on the lake and all the campground sites are a very short walk to the water. The sites are ample sized and most are good for tents, trailers or RVs. Picnic areas, boating, shoreline trails, and stunning views of the lake, along with the conveniences of drinking water and vault toilets, give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while still having some of the conveniences of home.

Natural Features

Paulina Lake is located within the collapsed calder of Newberry Volcano. Nearly five miles in diameter, this caldera encircles the basins of Paulina Lake and its twin, East Lake. Neither lake receives water from an inlet or stream - instead both rely on rain, snowmelt and hot springs for water. Paulina Creek flows from the lake and has chiseled a narrow gorge through the caldera's west wall creating a remarkable twin waterfall. Thermal vents and hot springs along the lake's northeast edge help create a highly productive ecosystem. The surrounding undeveloped wilderness, clean streams and diverse forests support a variety of wildlife, including porcupine, bighorn sheep, deer, bats native fish, migratory birds and even the occasional black bear.

Nearby Attractions

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.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to Paulina Lake Hot Springs

    Starting at Little Crater Campground, head north toward the hot springs (43.730, -121.247). If you're really looking to stretch your legs, you can extend the out-and-back hike to a full loop around the lake just shy of 8 miles. The water in the sp...

    2.4 miles

  • Relax at East Lake Hot Springs

    This 100-120 degree pool is located along the south shore of the lake, with great views of the water. It's not likely to be crowded, although it does have a strong sulfur smell.

    0.6 miles

  • MTB the Crater Rim Trail

    Paulina Peak with an elevation of 7,984 feet, and is about 4,000 feet higher than the terrain surrounding the volcano. There is a gravel fire road that winds to the top. This is a grueling climb with an 8000 foot elevation. Air please!The trail he...