Located within Newberry Caldera is Paulina Lake, fed by snowmelt and volcanic vents. The lake drains into Paulina Creek and forms a twin Waterfall. The lake has a small resort, several campgrounds, a lake trail and good fishing. This is not a swimmable lake, it is very deep (250 ft) and can often have noxious algae blooms. The Hot Springs can be a wondrous place to soak and star gaze.
To access the Hot Springs park at the end of Little Crater Campground and hike the marked trail 1.25 miles to a gravel beach. This is right before The Red Cinder Hill so if you start walking up a hill, you’ve gone to far. You can look for an established soaking area or create your own with a shovel and logs. If you come too early in the Spring/Summer the beach may still be under water. This is a popular area for hiking, fishing, and mosquitos. I like to go in the evenings and catch the tubs as most people are leaving for the day.
There is quite a bit to do up here, it’s really a World unto itself. Paulina Peak is nearly 8,000 feet tall and can be summited by foot, horse, or car. The view is one of the best in Central Oregon, you can see the entire Cascade Mountain Range and further East than Fort Rock.
I will be back soon!