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Lava Cast Forest is a 0.9 mile loop trail located near La Pine, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.9 miles Elevation Gain: 62 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


nature trips




partially paved


wild flowers


This trail is wheelchair friendly, however, after a point it becomes inaccessible to wheelchairs. For more information regarding accessibility, please view the forest service information on the trail here: A short walk through a lava field that has left behind impressions of old trees. Formed approximately 7,000 years ago when hot molten lava flowed from the nearby Newberry Volcano, the landscape holds lava casts of the ancient trees that were growing there at the time. Over the years, Ponderosa pine, penstemon flowers, and Indian paintbrush have flourished in the rocky terrain adding life and beautiful splashes of color to the landscape.

5 days ago

Really cool and easy walk.

5 days ago

Walked into a nice hail storm.

10 months ago

It was overcast today... Awesome Forrest..

Mon Jun 24 2019

Great easy family hike. Beautiful area, amazing trees and really easy paved trail. Wild flowers were blooming which was quite cool against the rugged lava rocks and rhe tree cast are so cool. It is ADA up to a certain point and a sign will tell you when that accessibility ends.

Sun Jun 09 2019

Super fun for young kids! The lava casts are fascinating.

Mon Jul 30 2018

Easy 1 mile loop with my 4 and 7 year old boys. The scenery was otherworldly and kept my kids entranced. Only part of the trail is considered handicap accessible, but for parents with really little ones: all of it is doable with a good jogging stroller (though a double stroller would be tight).

Fri Jun 15 2018

Super cool formations and kid friendly! We had a 4 & 6 year old and they did great!

Mon May 07 2018

Awesome! I’m ok with the 9 miles of washboard dirt road... I had the place to myself and it was so cool. I’ve never seen formations like this before. Come see it before it gets turned into a natl park or the road gets paved and you have to fight the crowds

Fri Nov 24 2017

Part of the trail is wheelchair-accessible. Walked/ran the trail in the pouring rain. Worth seeing. Kid-friendly.

Thu Sep 28 2017

Cool casts! Great geological formations.

Wed Sep 13 2017

Lovely and easy short trail. Very quite. We whent at the end of the day and got some "dramatic" beautifull view with the sun and some forest-fire smoke.

Wed Aug 16 2017

Easy hike. The casts are cool when you read how they are formed. Impressive lava flow and breif views of the 3 sisters

Sat Aug 29 2015

Very easy hike with cool scenery. Very bumpy drive in on 9 mile gravel road. Worth doing once.

Sun Jun 29 2014

The drive in is on a LONG gravel road. We didn't realize that one time when we were pulling our trailer, but couldn't find a place to turn around so we just had to suck it up and drive it all the way in. Other than pulling a trailer - the drive in is worth it. Nice, easy, paved path through the lava cast forest. It looks like another world. Great geology lesson for kids (and grown-ups, too.) Some mountain views in the distance.

Fri Jun 20 2014

cool paved trail. short and simple. it would have been nice if the descriptions signs were maintained. I would have liked to learn more details about the lava flows. more than a drive up a good gravel road than I expected.

Tue Nov 19 2013

A bit of a drive out there but worth it. A very short, paved and easy 1 mile loop. Has some really cool lava formations. Went on a windy rainy day and it felt a lot like the Oregon Coast. The ponderosas even made all of the same coastal noises you'd expect. Very fun trip

Tue Oct 15 2013

A fascinating walk on a paved loop that takes you through an old lava flow. The views of the distant mountains are spectacular. Along the way you can see where ancient trees once stood as evidenced by the cylindrical holes formed by lava engulfing the trees, solidifying, and the tree then burning out. The road in is well maintained gravel and well marked. We hit this trek right after the first snows had melted. A clear crisp day with snow tipped peaks in the distance. Beautiful.

Sat Jul 21 2012

Fun hike with amazing geology!

Sun Jun 17 2012

Gorgeous, especially in the snow!

Sat Feb 11 2012

This is a great trail to do for all fitness levels. There are one ore two small inclines that get your heart pumping a little harder, but the rest of it is pretty flat and easy. We went when there was snow, and the contrast between the lava rock and the white snow made for some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen! Especially with the cascades all lined up in the background! The only thing is that the weather can change drastically by the time you finish the make sure to bring warm cloths with you.

Thu Sep 15 2011

A nice, short and paved trail that passes through a field of solidified lava. The main attractions here are the large empty shafts that have been formed by lava rapidly solidifying around trees during a flow. The trees are now gone, and all that remain are the variety of mostly empty holes.

Mon Sep 05 2011

Short, paved and well worth the trip. Awesome formations and views of the mountains.

Sat Aug 13 2011

Very beautiful views! Our kids absolutely loved seeing all of the lava holes where the trees had been encased. I love how there are little markers along the trail explaining all of the landmarks.

Thu Jul 21 2011

very easy trail, paved- so even for wheelchairs & strollers; but worth the scenic views of lava & obsidian flow

nature trips
Sat Jul 16 2011

Very scenic - definitely worth the trip. Although short and paved, awesome scenery. Nice family trail or folks who can't walk far or on uneven ground. Actually, nice for everyone.

8 days ago

recorded Lava Cast Forest

15 days ago

24 days ago

28 days ago

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