Armchair photo tours: Trail of the Moulten Land at Newberry National Volcanic Monument

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A view of Lava Butte from the Trail of the Moulten Land in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon

Photos by Cheryl Landes

When anyone mentions volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest, we instantly think of Mount St. Helens. Its last eruption was 40 years ago, but it’s still active.

Mount St. Helens is among several volcanic mountains in Washington and Oregon. Some are dormant, while others, like Mount St. Helens, are seismically and geothermically active.

Another example of an active Pacific Northwest volcano is Newberry Crater in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in Central Oregon. This volcano is 1,200 square miles, almost the size of Rhode Island.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument covers more than 54,000 acres of lakes, lava flows, buttes, and mountains. The highest point is Paulina Peak at 7,985 feet, with beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains, the Central Oregon High Desert, and Newberry Crater. The monument has more than 400 cinder cones and vents, vast basalt flows, and rhyolite flows.

Trails through the flows provide closer looks at the volcanic rock and the plants and animals that thrive in this rugged environment. Today’s armchair photo tour features one of them—Trail of the Moulten Land at the Lava Lands Visitor Center in Bend, Oregon. These pictures are from my hike there last spring. Enjoy!

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Sign at the trailhead

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A lone juniper near the trailhead

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A ground squirrel near the trailhead. Ground squirrels and chipmunks look the same, except ground squirrels do not have a stripe on their heads.

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Some plants thrive in the volcanic rocks.

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A weathered tree branch resembling a creature. It reminds me of a cobra.

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Hikers on the trail

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A hazy view of Mount Bachelor in the distance

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More hikers on the trail

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Another ground squirrel

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