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Lava River Cave, Bend

4.4
#3 of 13 in Nature in Bend
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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Lava River Cave Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
376 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The cave is really long and cold, but a neat sight to check out. if you have never been into a lava tube this is a good introduction. easily walk-able.  more »
  • Excellent attraction close to Bend and Sunriver for spring and summer. Generally closed for the season during the winter. A nice example of lava tube creation where one can literrally hike through for...  more »
  • This is a big ole cave! Be sure to bring a jacket, good shoes and an extra flashlight- I wouldn't want to get stuck in the dark down there. This is not for claustrophobic people.  more »
Google
  • The cave was awesome!! It was a spectacular site to see and experience. A few things to know: 1. If you have worn your clothes in another cave within the last 10 years, you cannot wear them in this cave and the clothes you wear in here can't be worn in any other cave. This is to protect the bats against white nose syndrome. 2. The cave is pretty cold, I think It was around 31 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. You have to pay for at least a day use parking pass for $5. 4. Also, the cave is obviously dark and you can rent a flash light for $5 each. Overall, an awesome experience.
  • This was a really cool experience! My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves! You get to walk about a mile and a half into a cave and on most of the parts you can't hear or see anything inside! And after getting hounded for about 10 minutes on how I could spread spores to other bats white nose spores to be exact I was then allowed into the cave and the flashlight was only $5 so that was pretty good deal!
  • the forest rangers were really kind and informative, starting the trip off in a happy light. the cave itself was beautiful and a really great adventure to embark on. i was with a 5 and a 7 year old, both of whom thought it was stunning- but by the end of it they were exhausted. make sure to bring warm clothes and sneakers!
  • DO THIS fun activity! Tips: use their flashlights. Bring your USFS parking pass or pay $5 on site. Dress for 48 degree, cold, damp weather (jacket, tennis shoes and bicycle gloves). You’ll have a great time.
  • I love this cave, it is so large. You really need a high powered flashlight to see everything adequately though. Most headlamps don't have a strong enough beam to see all the details on some of the high ceilings.

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