Set on the northeast side of East Lake, Cinder Hill Campground fronts over a mile of subalpine beach on a small lagoon-like body of water. East Lake is actually one of two lakes that have filled the depressed caldera of Newberry Volcano. Unlike Crater Lake, however, the waters of East Lake are only 180-feet deep, in comparison to Crater Lake's 1,949-foot maximum depth.
With a total of 55 campsites, Cinder Hill, run by Hoodoo Recreation, is Newberry National Volcanic Monument's largest campground, slightly larger than Little Crater Campground, and it is the only campground in the monument that takes reservations. Many of the sites are large enough for those with trailers, however, none of the sites have RV hook-ups. East Lake Resort RV Park is the only campground in the monument that provides hook-ups.
The campground is also the perfect weekend destination for boaters, with two boat ramps/docks and a reputation for large brown trout. Because there are no tributaries and Paulina Creek Falls blocks fish access, both Paulina Lake and East Lake were void of fish until 1912, when rainbow trout fingerlings were introduced to the lakes by the Oregon Game Commission. They were brought in via horse drawn wagons. Today the lake is stocked not only with rainbow trout, but also with Kokanee salmon, Atlantic salmon and brown trout which regularly exceed 10 lbs.
Caution: Due to the geology and volcanic nature of the rocks, soils and sediments, East Lake has above average levels of naturally occurring mercury. In 1994 the Oregon Health Division (OHD) issued an advisory to anglers on limiting the intake of fish from several bodies of water within the state. East Lake was one of them, while Paulina Lake was not. Although no none of the effects from eating Oregon fish with elevated mercury levels have been documented in humans, the OHD recommends that you consider limiting consumption of East Lake fish as follows: (1) avoid eating brown trout 16" or larger, (2) women of childbearing age should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal every month, (3) healthy adults should eat no more than one 8-ounce meal every two weeks.
Note: Due to extensive snow pack, the campground is typically only open from June through early October.