The Trail of the Molten Land- Newberry Volcano

DISCLAIMER: Our posts may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, you won't pay a penny more, but we'll get a small commission, which helps to keep the lights on. Thanks!

The Trail of the Molten Land, located outside of Bend, is an easy trail that brings hikers to an alien planet. In reality, you stroll through a roughly one-mile of lava flow, at the bottom of an ancient volcano, but your eyes will surely convince you that you’ve entered an alien realm.

What is the Trail of the Molten Land?

The Trail of the Molten Land is a hiking path that leads through the remnants of a basalt lava flow, with endless views of nearby snow capped mountains. The trail highlights the plant and animal life that dares to survive in this barren landscape.

Trail of The Molten Lands hike trailhead.
  • Save

The trail departs from the Newberry National Volcanic Monument Visitor’s Center, and winds through the basalt lava flow, to the base of the Newberry Volcano, which is thought to have last erupted 1,300 years ago.

From the trail, you can see where the lava burst through the side of the caldera during one of the recent eruptions (about 7,000 year ago,) and flowed downward. The Trail of Molten Land ends with a viewpoint of the nearby mountains, which are part of the cascade range, an interconnected chain of ancient volcanoes.

ancient lava trail
  • Save
The Trail of Molten the Land is riddled with interpretive signs, which I would highly recommend reading. The signs help explain the vast, and odd landscape around you, and help it feel less foreign.

What Will You See on the Trail of the Molten Land?

When hiking the Trail of the Molten Land, the reminders of destruction are everywhere, in fallen burned out timber and the more distinct formations of bubbling molten lava. Though long cooled and hardened, you’ll never forget that you’re walking through a trail of lava that once flowed red hot and deadly.

Upon first glance, it may seem impossible for any life to survive inside the basalt lava flow. If you know where to look, you will see signs of life everywhere.

Mountain range, included famed Mount Bachelor, as seen from the Trail of the Molgen Lands hike
  • Save

On the trail, you will see wildflowers, sage brush, small plants, and even trees clinging to life amid the rocks. One of the famous trees on the Trail of Molten Land, the Lava Ness Monster, did not make it.

The Lava Ness Monster is a large pine tree, that appears to have been twisted and pulled by the hand of god. In reality, the odd and inspiring shape has more to do with the conditions inside the lava flow and a tenacious spirit to survive.

Inside the lava flow, moisture is limited, and delivering water throughout the interior of tree is difficult. The twisting shape helps water to more efficiently circulate throughout the entire tree from the deep taproot.

Animals also call this arid place home. If you look closely, you may see birds, small mammals, and insects.

As mentioned above, you will also see the surrounding mountains and the base of the caldera on the Trail of the Molten Lands.

Hiking the Trail of the Molten Land

Hiking the Trail of Molten Land is a relatively easy and quick experience, but a worthwhile one. The trail is heavily trafficked, and it is recommended to traverse the loop in a counter clockwise fashion, to better handle the flow of traffic.

The trail can be accessed from behind the visitors center. Simply leave the back of the visitors center, and follow the trail to the right.

The first portion of the trail has been redone to be more accessible to those with mobility issues. After the first section, the trail narrows and becomes rougher.

The entire trail is paved, and does feature some mild inclines and declines. The steepest portion of the trail is the leading up to the viewpoint. This portion is relatively short, about 800 feet of incline, and is worth the climb.

Th Trail of Molten Land covers approximately 1 mile, and is a loop, with the exception of the spur trail which leads to the viewpoint.

View of nearby mountains as seen from the trail of molten land
  • Save
Trail of the Molten Land Viewpoint overlooking Mt. Bachelor.

The trail has no shade, and can be very hot. The lava flow is dark and seems to radiate heat. Be sure to pack water, sunscreen, and additional sun protection.

Other Things to Do in the Area

The adventure does not need to stop at the Trail of Molten Land. To lengthen your lava adventure, consider hiking, driving, or taking the shuttle to the top of the caldera. During peak visiting times, you can only access the top via waking, biking, or the shuttle. A short trail leads along the caldera rim, and offers stunning views.

Wildflowers that managed to bloom on the Trail of the Molten Lands hike in Newberry Volcanic Monument.
  • Save
Wildflowers find a foothold in the unforgiving volcanic landscape.

The Lava Cast forest, is relatively close, and offers another short and fulfilling hike through another lava flow, this one containing lava casts of ancient trees.

If you’re looking to make a whole day of it, consider adding the Lava River Cave, Paulina and East Lake, and the Big Obsidian Flow.


  • Save

Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Thanks for Joining Our Adventure

mother-daughter travel bloggers looking up at old growth tree in Oregon's Valley of the Giants

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.

FOLLOW US

pinterest icon
Instagram icon
Facebook icon
Twitter
follow us in feedly

#Seconds2go

More Oregon Adventures

views from Rim Drive are what to do at Crater Lake
  • Save

What to Do at Crater Lake-Best Bets for Your Visit

March 5, 2023

Share via: 1.6K Share Pinterest 318 Facebook 1.3K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 When thinking about what to do at Crater Lake, many people go right to the pristine, blue water of the lake itself, but the over 180,000-acre park has much more to … Read more

Valley of the Giants feature
  • Save

Valley of the Giants: Oregon’s Tallest Hidden Secret

February 26, 2023

Share via: 1.6K Share Pinterest 331 Facebook 1.3K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 When it comes to visiting the Pacific Northwest, adventurers have a lot of choices, but none are as humbling as the Valley of the Giants Oregon trail near the now defunct … Read more

IMG 1219
  • Save

Silver Falls State Park in Oregon: 10 Awesome Waterfalls in a Single Day

February 8, 2023

Share via: 391 Shares Pinterest 247 Facebook 144 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 Silver Falls State Park Oregon is the largest park in the state at close to ten thousand acres. It features moderate trails through dense Oregon forest that bring you to a … Read more

sisters mountain
  • Save

Visiting Oregon: 11 Things to Do When You Get There

February 1, 2023

Share via: 208 Shares Pinterest 208 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 When visiting Oregon, it may be hard to narrow down a list of things to do. So, we’ve put together this simplified visitor resource, a companion to our Oregon travel guide, … Read more

Royal Terrace falls on the McDowell Creek Falls trail
  • Save

McDowell Creek Falls- A Mythical Oregon Hike

January 25, 2023

Share via: 526 Shares Pinterest 410 Facebook 116 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 McDowell Creek Falls Oregon is a moderate hike located north of Sweet Home. It features beautiful forest views and serene boardwalk stairs leading to the base and summit of two waterfalls. … Read more

Dog trotting through uncrowded forest
  • Save

Three Off-the-Beaten Path Summer Vacation Destinations

January 24, 2023

Share via: 1.5K Share Pinterest 298 Facebook 1.2K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 According to recent research, 95% of Americans plan to travel this year. Over 65% will travel domestically, hitting popular summer destinations within the good old U.S. of A. No matter how … Read more

The Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
  • Save

It’s a Different Kind of Marble Hall at Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve

October 6, 2022

Share via: 1.6K Share Pinterest 342 Facebook 1.3K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 The Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve boasts 15,000 feet of underground passageways that wind and dive ever deeper into a marble cave. When it comes to things to do in … Read more

dog friendly mcdowell creek 1024x683
  • Save

Top Pet-Friendly Vacation Destinations in Oregon, The Most Dog-Friendly State in the Union

October 5, 2022

Share via: 325 Shares Pinterest 157 Facebook 168 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 If you’re like us, you’re always seeking new pet-friendly vacations, restaurants, and specially, pet-friendly hotels. We always find ourselves hunting for dog friendly places in Oregon and New England because, after … Read more

View from road to Bohemia Mine
  • Save

Oregon Travel Guide: Don’t Miss These Oregon Vacation Places

March 30, 2022

Share via: 2.9K Shares Pinterest 320 Facebook 2.5K Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 With 98,000 square miles to explore, and a diverse set of geographical areas, you’ll need an Oregon travel guide to help you find the best Oregon vacation places. So, if you’re … Read more

Antique Firetruck in Antique Powerland Museum
  • Save

Antique Powerland Museum: Revving Up a Good Time

March 16, 2022

Share via: 547 Shares Pinterest 423 Facebook 124 Twitter 0 Reddit 0 Mix 0 Flipboard 0 LinkedIn 0 Email 0 Pocket 0 Tumblr 0 Antique Powerland Museum or Powerland Heritage Park contains 15 individual museums, each with a different category of antique machinery. This museum will keep you occupied for hours, and is the perfect … Read more

Posted in

Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Leave a Comment