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Newberry National Volcanic Monument – Tips and Images


Newberry National Volcanic Monument Tips and Images @handbookofnaturestudy

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

We were visiting the Bend, Oregon area and on a whim we decided to explore the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We looked up on the internet and saw that the Lava Lands visitor center (just off Hwy 97) opened at 10 AM so we made our way there just after they opened. (Their season ends on 10/31 and they open again 5/1.)

IMG_5899It was a rather small center but the volunteer docent that was working that morning gave us the pertinent details to make our trip educational and enjoyable. It was a big help! It is always amazing to me how learning from someone who is passionate about something makes it twice as interesting. He made the information practical and knew just how much detail to go into as he explained what we would see and what we could experience.

IMG_5901We started off by driving up to the top of the Lava Butte in our car. You are required to have a car pass at this time of year but in high season you need to ride the free shuttle to the top because of limited parking. There is a short trail that takes you around the crater’s rim and you can visit the working fire lookout. We were intrigued by the red road that wound its way up to the top of the butte.

IMG_5918It was sunny but near freezing temperatures the day we visited so we bundled up before our hike. The views of the surrounding landscape and volcanoes and peaks was awesome. After the wonderful explanation by the docent at the visitor center, we could recognize the natural features he had shared with us using the model.

IMG_5904Here is a view as we drove up the road and looked towards the Cascades.

IMG_5921Our next stop was to drive the short distance to the Benham Falls parking lot. These were not really “falls” but rather a series of rapids in the river. It was a really nice day for a hike so we enjoyed just seeing something new.

IMG_5933On this day, we had the trail and river to ourselves. Besides the solitude, I think my favorite thing about this hike was the peaceful river and the volcanic rocks. If we have packed a lunch, we would have hiked further but we will have to do that another time.

For a spur of the moment trip, this turned out to be a very enjoyable day.


Things we need to do on subsequent visits:


  • There is an entrance fee. If you hold an annual pass from the national park service, this will get you in!
  • Check the website for the visitor center hours before you visit.
  • Restrooms at the visitor center.
  • Closest towns are La Pine and Sunriver.

You can read more of my national park entries by following these links:

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Outdoor Mom’s Journal – October 2016

Outdoor Moms Journal @handbookofnaturestudy

“Bright yellow, red, and orange,
The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian Princes,
But soon they’ll turn to ghosts;
The scanty pears and apples
Hand russet on the bough;
It’s autumn, autumn, autumn late,
T’will soon be winter now!”

I think October is a very surprising month. It never is the same from year to year as far as weather and mood. October 2016 has been another busy outdoor month in our family because the weather has been fairly mild with some rain but all of that at once over the course of a weekend. This allowed for getting out and experiencing a little fall color in our area.

Oct 2016 sly park and caples lake (4)

During the first week of the month, a friend and I hopped in the car on a bright sunny day to take a drive up in the high country and look for some pretty trees. There were some aspens with golden yellow color but not as many as usual. I think our “normal” is changing along with our weather patterns. Still, it was a wonderful outing and we were able to fit in a nice day hike up at Lake Tahoe.


Then, mid-October, we took off in our truck and trailer to visit Oregon again. We had some places to check out and friends to meet up with so although the weather wasn’t ideal for being outdoors the whole time we were in Oregon, we did manage to sneak in a few hikes along the various rivers. Our first few nights we stayed in the Eugene, Oregon area along the McKenzie River.

Deschutes RiverWe camped at Tumalo State Park in Bend, Oregon...a new favorite spot! The camping was so enjoyable even with sprinkles from time time. The hiking along the Deschutes River was peaceful and we went in both directions along the river’s edge starting from the bridge at the campground. There is a wonderful day use area at this state park too and I imagine in the summer it is a busy place! But in October it was empty and quiet.

IMG_5948We also strolled along the Deschutes River right in the town of Bend at Drake Park and Mirror Pond. This particular autumn day was colorful with storybook houses along the riverbank and the snow capped mountains in the distance. Just perfect.

IMG_5866The high point of our trip was a hike to Tumalo Falls outside Bend. It was a misty morning but we still wanted to take advantage of our time in Bend by experiencing this popular hike to the top of the waterfall. The parking lot was empty when we arrived and we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We extended our hike up the trail paralleling Tumalo Creek. Amazing!

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

We were also able to squeeze in a visit to Newberry National Volcanic Monument. More about this in a future post!

Back at the homefront, our garden was starting to show signs of fading for the season. We did a big clean up before our Oregon trip and left just the few things that might produce a bit more (being hopeful).


Now begins the slow slide into winter here in my neck of the woods. This is the time of great activity in my yard, the leaf raking kind of work that just always seems to be calling me. Thank goodness I have two grown men in my house to help gather and dispose of the great heaps of leaf death. Sigh.

I miss the long autumn walks with my kids but they send me images of their autumns for me to enjoy.

Hudson Valley Hiking
Hudson Valley hiking October 2016-from my daughter

So what have you been up to this month? Join me here by commenting or leaving me a link to your blog entry.


Outdoor Mom’s Journal

Whether your family spends a few minutes a week outside or hours at a time, share what is going on in your world.

How Do You Join?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this week we went….
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting….
  • I added nature journal pages about….
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • A photo I would like to share…


Outdoor Hour Challenge Plans for Sept 16 to March 17 @handbookofnaturestudy

You can use the free monthly newsletter along with the Handbook of Nature Study book for your nature study. Adding a membership gives you access to the Ultimate Naturalist Library’s ebooks and printablse which provides members with even more in-depth studies each month.

Read more about it!