While some of the waterfalls on the nearby Deschutes River in the Bend area are, I feel, underrated, Paulina Falls is a bit overrated. Don't get me wrong, any time you can find side-by-side 80-foot waterfalls you should feel privileged. However, relatively low stream flow and the all too often overestimated height of the falls - commonly said to be 100 feet tall - led me to expect better things. The nature of Paulina Creek above and below the falls is largely calm, with small slides and rapids here and there. The whole streambed is exceptionally scenic. Just above the falls, the creek divides around a small island before plunging over a cliff composed largely of remnants of ash flows and volcanic breccias from the past eruptions of the Newberry Volcano. The unstable nature of the cliff is evident in the size of the many boulders, which have fallen into the gorge below the falls.
- Paulina Creek Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
- Known Alternate Names: Paulina Falls
Paulina Creek, Lake, Peak and a number of other geographical features were named for Paulina (pronounced Pa-LINE-uh), a well-known Snake Indian chief with a rather violent past. It is thought the falls were named for the creek, however.
Located in Newberry National Volcanic Monument south of Bend. Follow Highway 97 21 miles south of Bend to Paulina Lake Road, signed for the monument, Paulina and East Lakes. Follow Paulina Lake Road for 12 Â½ miles to the signed parking lot. To access this waterfall, you will need to enter the Monument, and there is a $5.00 day use fee. From the parking lot, follow the trail for 200 feet to the viewpoint above the falls. A Â¼ mile trail winds down to the base of the falls, but for my money, the best views from below are from just off the trail at the first switchback next to the falls.