We recently had another camping trip...to Paulina Lake, about a 40 minute drive from us. We did quite a bit of hiking while there, and the photo above shows the very top of the peak you can drive/climb to. (By the way, all photos are much better enlarged by clicking on them.)
Paulina Lake, along with East Lake, is in the caldera of an old volcano. The whole area is designated the 'Newberry Volcanic National Monument'. We felt like we were right up on the top of the Cascade Mountain range, at the top of the world. So beautiful.
There are a lot of interesting volcanic features to explore there. It was fairly clear, but there was a lot of smoke on the horizon due to wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon. At dusk the smoke would settle in our campground causing a misty sort of mysteriousness. There is a statewide ban on campfires, so we missed that part of our normal camping and no s'mores : (
There are several large obsidian flows in the monument, and we climbed up through one. The volcanic glass that was created is fascinating.
Back down on lake level, looking up to where we had been. This lake is a deep one, and used mainly for fishing. My parents brought me here when I was a baby, and our family has been enjoying it ever since. To hike around the lake is about 7.5 miles, and we opted for a hike of 4.5 miles instead. We had heard of some hot springs part of the way around the lake, so decided to go on an adventure and find them.
There are bubbling hot springs at the edge of the lake on this pumice beach. So weird, right on the edge of a cold snow melt mountain lake. People have dug small pools, and they are at varying temps from luke-warm to steaming hot. The insurance man changed into swim trunks and enjoyed the warmth and lake views for about an hour. I laid out on the edge of the pumice in the sun and dozed. If you click on this photo you can see another couple with swim suits on, but eventually other people arrived and some thought it OK to just go natural with no clothes. WE decided it was time to leave! A fun adventure and camping trip!