Trip Planner:   USA  /  Oregon  /  Central Oregon  /  Bend  /  Nature  /  Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave, Bend

4.4
#2 of 12 in Nature in Bend
Cave Nature / Park
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.
Make Lava River Cave a part of your Bend vacation plans using our Bend holiday planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Lava River Cave
map

Plans in Bend by other users

15 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM GERMANY August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Bend BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Bend BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Bend BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Bend, Crater Lake National Park & Eugene BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans

Plan your trip to Bend

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Bend

Since many people come to Bend to experience the outdoors, it's no surprise that many lodges and bed and breakfasts here are designed to resemble log cabins. Consider a stay near the scenic Deschutes River for scenic views. You'll find a few chain hotels with comfortable standard rooms in the downtown area.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
322 reviews
Google
4.6
  • I don't cave-in before but my two kids have not this was their first experience and they had a blast We use new LED headlamps plenty of light good sturdy shoes warm clothes as it's 42° year-round They...  more »
  • This cave is walkable and then sort of crawl able. You will have a light but it is dark and kind of spooky. The cave was a lava flow and you can walk quit a distance. Do dress for the temperature whic...  more »
  • I hadn't been to the Lava River Cave in 23 years since my daughter was a child. My husband and my daughter, son and his girlfriend went to visit and thoroughly enjoyed hiking through the cave. Don't f...  more »
Google
  • It was nice experience. Make sure you don't wear any clothing which you wore to another cave. The staff was friendly and gave us a small orientation, history and guidance. Get your headlamps or rent them. It's a 2mile RT walk/hike. Gets cold as you go deep into the cave. Its pretty cool.
  • You can't tell from the outside but this cave is spectacularly cool. Dress warm as there is a big temperature change going into the cave. The staff is friendly and they have some rules that you must follow. You can rent flashlights or lanterns or you can bring your own ,don't forget your parking pass as it will help you with access into the cave. Right now the freeway sign says it's closed but they are open. Have a good time, a must see if in Bend.
  • Its a lave cave so not as spectacular as a cave formed by water. But it can be a fun outing especially if you have kids old enough to take a short cave hike. Bring a mutiple headlamps or flashlights or rent them on site. Maybe bring a light jacket as it is cool in the cave. And bring a bottle of water.
  • Pretty neat. The rangers at the entrance were friendly and informative, and they had rentable flashlights and gear. There was an area to dust off your shoes afterward. The cave itself was massive and awe-inspiring, but in comparison to some other caves it lacked substance of stuff to actually look at inside.
  • It's great places to explore. It's good idea to bring your own good flashlight or rent one at the entrance. It's about 2 miles in and out.