Lava River Cave

MODERATE 77 reviews
#9 of 134 trails in

Lava River Cave is a 0.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features a cave and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
0.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
16 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

cave

rocky

The Lava River Cave is a natural formation remaining from a lava tube. The entrance to the cave is a rapid rock covered decent that "levels off". The cave floor is the cooled waves of lava that once flowed; its very hard and uneven. There are some tight spots when crouching is required; large backpacks should be left at the surface. At the end of the main cave is a small cave just big enough to sit in; not for big guys or the claustrophobic.

3 days ago

4 days ago

7 days ago

This was a really fun hike. There isn't much of a walk to get to the Cave entrance. Bring a headlamp. We hiked with our 4 and 6 year old and they did a great job. Great fun for kids. Wear good shoes, pants and bring a sweatshirt.

9 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

It was chilly at the beginning, but as I got moving it wasn't bad. some of the rocks are slick, so tread carefully! I brought a headlamp and was able to use my hands to climb over some of the boulders. there were a few spots where the ceiling was low, but not too bad. one thing to note...it's a dirt road to get out there. my little Eos made it, but a higher clearance vehicle would have been nice.

14 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

The cave is wide, and the ceiling is very high. In some places the ceiling rises to about 30 feet.

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyed the Hike. Buy good lighting!!!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

fun adventure. need headlamp and good shoes, very rocky

hiking
1 month ago

What a fun hike! Please wear sturdy shoes with plenty of ankle support and you will be fine!

1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This was a trail worth doing. I probably should have done it in the summertime though. I went in April and I showed up with the whole family to include a 3 year old and 1 year old. The entrance had a lot of ice and it would have been extremely difficulte to get down there with the kiddos so they ended up staying outside with some of the others who were too afraid to go. I went all the way to the end of the trail and it was awesome! It is definitely cold down there but you sweat a lot. Many times i wanted to take my hoodie off. Definitely make sure you have a flashlight with at least 750 lumens. i saw others down there getting frustrated with their small flashlights. Also make sure you have fresh batteries. It would suck to be alone and the batteries to your light go out..You will not be able to see your hand even when it is right in front of your face. It is total darkness. You would think you were in some horror movies. When you are real deep in the cave and alone just turn off your lights and you will definitely feel those hairs in the back of your neck rise. The trail is rocky at some points (ankle breakers) so be careful as you walk. Also for guys or girls over 5 ft. 8in you will have to bend down a few times but no big deal. This hike was awesome, great workout amd unique. I would definitely do it again but in the summertime so i can take the younger kids in. Enjoy!!

Fantastic curiosity hike, down and dirty, close to Flagpole. Bring extra lights and batteries.. Hardhat.

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing! Forest road was closed so it was about 4 more miles of walking to the trailhead. Definitely a must do during this time of year when there is less people.

hiking
4 months ago

12/30 Walked 3 miles in the snow to the cave. Amazing adventure. Only ppl out there. Cave was very cool. Glad we had headlamps. Floor is very slippery. Will do this hike again in the spring.

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I loved this cave, not much is needed, just a sweatshirt and a headlamp. The terrain was rocky, but not bad. The only thing that was a bummer, lots of people were going in and out. Great starter cave