Paulina Peak Hike

on
Paulina Peak trail
Onward and upward to the peak!

I like conquering peaks. The more vistas I’ve visited by foot the better I know the land around me. This gives me a sense of place, a deeper understanding of my home. That and I crave delicious hits of ecstasy inducing, opioid-receptor pushing endorphins! I’m only human after all, I like to feel good. In my younger days I squelched the insatiable restlessness inside of me with stress-fueled work and a host of not so healthy habits.Over time and through the trials of Parenthood I have learned to slow down, to breathe and become present.  I have learned to preventively and methodically tame the beast within with disciplined communion in nature. God’s Gym is a platform for healing, learning, and self realization. Short of falling down a mountain (I hope) this mode of operation will sustain me deep into the latter season of life. Long miles and hard climbs have become my go-to mental maids. A sweat and a good think, fresh air and a new perspective; what gifts in a world of everyday hardships!

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Rock cliffs halfway to the top.

From an early age I have admired the romantic observational poets, the pilgrim conservationists of America; David Henry Thoreau, Robert Frost, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was intrinsically drawn to the Philosophy of Nature, the idea that ‘The Why’ question was right in front of our faces, if only we would look.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

hiking Paulina Peak
Hiking Paulina Peak, an exercise in mental clarity 🙂

The Paulina Peak Hike is a 7 mile out and back trail that begins at The Paulina Lake Information center. The hike gains a little more than 1500 vertical feet, it is steep but also very well maintained. It is to me, a re-start button, a place to gain a greater perspective. Just look at the view!

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Looking East from Paulina Peak, as many trees as people in all of Oregon! And there….that’s Fort Rock!

“Most people are on the world, not in it — they have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”  -John Muir

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Twilight on Paulina Peak, during a smoke inversion.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau

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The bright city lights of Lapine, Oregon.

Paulina Peak is located within The Newberry National Monument. The NorthWest Forest Pass (or a $5 one-day pass) is required. A gate closes vehicle access during Winter. Visit The Paulina Lake Hot Springs!

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