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Lava River Cave, Bend

Categories: Caves, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web
The Lava River Cave near Bend, Oregon, is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which is managed by the United States Forest Service. The cave is an excellent example of a lava tube. At 5,211 feet (1,588 m) in length, the northwest section of the cave is the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon. While the cave’s discovery in 1889 was officially credited to a pioneer hunter, the presence of obsidian flakes near the cave has led archaeologists to conclude that Native Americans knew about the cave long before settlers arrived in central Oregon.The cave is located at.GeologyThe eruption which formed this Lava River Cave occurred about 80,000 years ago. The source is believed to be near Mokst Butte southeast of the entrance. The same volcanic flow that formed the cave underlies much of the Bend area and almost reaches Redmond, Oregon. However, the specific vent that created the cave has been buried by several younger flows. The Lava River Cave was created by lava flowing downhill from a volcanic vent. The lava flowed northwest from the vent toward the Deschutes River. The flow began as a river of lava flowing in an open channel. Eventually, a lava crust solidified over the top of the flowing lava. This formed a roof over the river, enclosing it in a lava tunnel or tube. When the eruption from the vent stopped, the lava drained out of the tube leaving a lava tube cave behind. After the cave cooled, a section of its roof collapsed. This collapsed section provided the entrance to both the uphill (southeast) and downhill (northwest) cave sections.
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  • Took the family and enjoyed exploring the cave. The girls grandparents came along and had some difficulty maneuvering through the cave, but highly recommend exploring this great attraction. Just a not...  read more »
  • We rented a flashlight and also brought a couple of small flashlights with us. Our flashlights were worthless in the cave. You really should rent the flashlights from them. You've got to go down a lot...  read more »
  • The cave experience is really cool (and cold so bring a jacket). The ranger station provides huge flashlights for $5 which I would recommend because an average flashlight doesn't really cut it. Also, ...  read more »
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