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Lava River Cave, Bend

4.4
#3 of 16 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.
The 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 4.5
413 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Lava River Cave is a mile long under the ground (surprise!). You definitely need a torch as it is total darkness inside. You can rent these before entering the cave. Check the website as the cave is c...  more »
  • Very unique and easy to explore. Bring flash light, jacket and good shoes. Such an interesting place open to all who wish to check it out. Part of Newberry National Volcanic Monument which is a jewel ...  more »
Google
  • You cannot pass this up! This is an experience you and your family won't forget. Be sure to bring a jacket as it's cold down there! Also, renting the flashlights from here is also recommended as their lights will be better than yours!
  • This is a really cool lava River cave! We made it a little more than half way through and had to turn around. Bring your own Bright flashlights to save a few bucks. Donate those bucks to keep this place going.

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