Paulina Peak - 5.26.2023

Paulina Peak is located very near the south end of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument that covers 1,200 square miles in Central Oregon.
I drove Road 21 (aka Paulina Lake Road) east of La Pine for 12.6 miles and turned right on Road 500... where I parked at the gate after driving the road for 25 yards... with the elevation being 6350 feet.
It didn't take very long to realize why Road 500 was gated... and yes, wait for the snow to melt and the gate to open and you can drive to the summit of Paulina Peak.
After hiking Road 500 for .6 miles I left the road and joined Crater Rim Trail #3957.
After hiking for a total of 1 mile the snow became continuous at 6700 feet and would soon get very steep.
Microspikes go on at 6800 feet to deal with the steep snow.
High enough to start seeing Paulina Lake... and I have gone over to the crater rim to get off of the very steep snow.
Continuing to hike/scramble along the crater rim to avoid the steep snow.
Continuing to hike/scramble along the crater rim to avoid the steep snow.
High enough now (~7200 feet) to see almost all of Paulina Lake and a peek at East Lake out there in the middle of the photo.
The trail has actually come over to the rim now... but it won't stay out of the snow for very long.
Continuing to gain elevation along the crater rim... still can't see the summit.
Continuing to hike along the crater rim... looking down on Paulina Lake.
At 7,775 feet... after hiking a total of 2.2 miles I have reached the place where the Paulina Peak trail separates from the Crater Rim Trail... and another quarter mile of hiking will put me on the summit.
There are a lot of information signs along the Paulina Peak Trail... and they are just starting to show themselves.
Now I can see the summit... the little bump up there in the middle of the photo.
Getting closer to the summit... still hiking along the crater rim.
Nearing the summit... looking down and out into the Newberry Caldera... with Paulina Lake on the far left... and East Lake beyond part of the 'Big Obsidian Flow' in the middle of the photo.
Almost on the summit now... with distant views of Mount Bachelor, the Three Sisters and Broken Top on the far left.
After hiking a total of 2.5 miles I have reached the parking lot at the top of Road 500... with the Paulina Peak summit another 30 feet of elevation gain up the bump on the right.
On the 7,984 foot summit of Paulina Peak... here looking NW to Mount Bachelor, the Three Sisters and Broken Top.
Heading back down to the car... more or less following my steps down.
Continuing back down along the rim... this photo gives a good idea of how steep the snow was.
After hiking a total of 3.75 miles I have found the Crater Rim Trail and I am off of the steep terrain.
After hiking a total of 4.4 miles Willie Nelson would say that I'm 'on the road again'... leaving a .6 mile road walk to get back to the car. The total hike was 5 miles, gaining 1609 feet of elevation.