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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Colombo

Paulina: The Peak, The Falls, and The Lake

Monday: Most humans are back at work; the trails/lakes/rivers are either vacant or peppered with a few service industry folk. These are my kind of people, so for that reason I avoid leaving my house on any other day but Monday. Not really, but I strive for that “I’m the only person out here” feeling, so off to Paulina Monday morning we went!

To reach this destination head south on 97 for twenty some miles (you’re in LaPine at this point) and turn onto Road 21 (I think…). There are a ton of trails in this area but the signage was sufficient so don’t bother with my directions. You can drive up to the top as well, but what fun is that. I went snowshoeing in this area in the Winter but there was too much snow to stay on the trail so I had to go on the road. It was a snowmobilers paradise and it wasn’t peaceful is what I am getting at, so don’t do what I did.


We drove up to the Crater Rim Trail No.57/Paulina Peak, which is roughly two miles to the top. This trail felt a lot more difficult than the Moraine Lake trail but it very well may have been the effects of the happy hour(s) from the night before. Either way, by time we reached the top I felt fully detoxed.


I appreciated the sights along the way perhaps even more than the view from the top. Seeing Paulina lake, East Lake, and Obsidean flow surrounded by more mountains then I can name was spectacular! One day this Summer I’d like to hike the Crater Rim Trail (17 miles)to see this area from all angles.


Down the road a bit is a trail head/parking lot for the falls. You can hike .25 miles to one of the viewpoints (what we did) or two miles to what I assume was the viewpoint across the falls.

We wanted to go underneath the falls so we bouldered up to the top. Not a whole lot to say about this other than it was beautiful and who doesn’t like waterfalls? They’re just majestic and pleasant to stare at.


The Lake:

We were pretty beat at this point but it was in the upper 90’s and we wanted to go swimming. We followed signs to Paulina lake just a couple miles down the road. The day use area was a bit marshy for my taste, not to be high maintenance but there is just something creepy feeling about wading through plant life.


We decided to check out East Lake instead which mostly satisfied my manicured water needs. I’d like to go back and camp at Paulina, Annie said there were nicer parts than where we were, so I trust that. To end the day we stopped at the adorable camp store for an orange creamsicle and nearing 3 pm, I was in the beginning stages of hangry. We headed home.

#oregon #paulinapeak #traveloregon


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