Lava River Cave

MODERATE 104 reviews
#13 of 167 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
9 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.

18 days ago

Fun hike! Definitely different from the traditional hiking experience. Bring a headlamp and dress for cool/cold temperatures.

19 days ago

Lots of fun with a group of friends.

19 days ago

Beautiful! Worth the hike!!

1 month ago

Fun!

1 month ago

Cold, other worldly place
Awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

i loved this cave really amazing took my daughter 9 and my sissy 15 they had a blast I didn't want to leave flaggstaff in general.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a neat place but once you've done it you don't have to do it again. wear good shoes and bring a good headlamp

hiking
4 months ago

awesome experience. dogs definitely cannot go in the cave. we did try with our two dogs but its way to rocky. boyfriend and i took turns doing the cave trail while the other watched the dogs. CHECK THE MAP. i got lost and disoriented in the cave and so did several other people.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike, definitely recommend headlamp so you can use both hands and good grip shoes. A must do in Flagstaff, great adventure.

hiking
5 months ago

Very awesome hike in the cave. Took the whole family and we all had a blast. Will definitely go again

hiking
5 months ago

It was a fun experience and cool

hiking
5 months ago

An interesting experience and fun for the kids. It will be cold in the cave, and remember your headlamp. Also, watch your head in some spots.

5 months 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.

hiking
6 months 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.

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

Enjoyed the Hike. Buy good lighting!!!

hiking
7 months ago

fun adventure. need headlamp and good shoes, very rocky

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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.

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