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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.

Length 0.9 mi Elevation gain 62 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Wheelchair friendly Kid friendly Stroller friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Running Forest Partially paved Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (3)
Tips
Getting There

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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/deschutes/recarea/?recid=38390&actid=50 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.

Make sure you bring some water. Can get very warm with little shade.

Southbound travelers: Take Hwy 97 South from Bend 10 miles passed Exit 143, take Exit 153, take first left after exit, follow signs to Lava Cast Forest. Paved road will turn to gravel. It is about 9 miles one way to the parking lot at Lava Cast Forest. Northbound travelers: Take Exit 153, take first right after you exit, follow signs to Lava Cast Forest. Paved road will turn to gravel. It is about 9 miles one way to the parking lot at Lava Cast Forest.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (67)
Photos (73)
Recordings (51)
Completed (204)
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Jade Eyn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
Hiking

Easy walk through an amazing place.

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Veronica Bradbury
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Worth the 9 washboard miles to get there. Went around 9am & were the only hikers for first half hour. Extremely cool and otherworldly landscape. Gives great perspective of edges of the volcanic impact zone. Super easy hike, hiking boots are unnecessary unless you go off the trail. Nice shady part thru parts. Great interpretive signs. Toilette at the trailhead.

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Lindsey Hibbert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
FeeGreat!

great family hike. I was happily surprised to find some of it shaded. we were there late morning. My 2 year old navigated the path easily. There are a few picnic tables at the trail head as well as a vault toilet. the driving route takes you up a gravel and washboard type road. we used Google to the Lava Cast forest Trail head. took us right there.

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Elke Lowenkopf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Highly recommend. Otherworldly landscape, with fascinating tree casts. Indian paint brush and a few resilient wildflowers. Paved loop trail, lots of chipmunks, great views on last mile of trail of the sisters. Exposed for first half. Bring sunscreen and hats. Only two other people on the trail. Kids loved it! Nine miles of gravel road but definitely worth it! Don’t go onto the non-gravel diet road that google maps suggests. Stick to gravel road.

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Teresa Kuykendall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020

This was a very nice and easy hike. The wild flowers were in bloom and beautiful growing out of the lava. The tree castings were amazing knowing how they were formed. It was a very warm day but the breeze that was blowing made it comfortable. The road up to it is gravel and washed board but so worth it. The trail itself is paved and easy to walk on.

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Melissa Chambey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Hiking

Really cool and easy walk.

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Kristan Linehan
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Hiking

Walked into a nice hail storm.

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Lynne Nelson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2019
Hiking

It was overcast today... Awesome Forrest..

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Pickles Mcgee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Shanna Many Wounds
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 9, 2019
Hiking

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

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Shannon Hopson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2018
Walking

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).

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Shellie & Travis Foust
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2018
Hiking

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

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Jamie Hola
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 7, 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

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Alecia Rahn-Blakeslee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2017

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

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David Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 28, 2017
Hiking

Cool casts! Great geological formations.

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Emmeline FOUBERT
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Leif Wisdahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 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

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Nick Brauns
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2015

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

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Rosi Green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 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.

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Brad Pickens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2014
Hiking

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.

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Kelsie Redington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 19, 2013
Hiking

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

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George McKee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2013
Walking

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.

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Josephine Ann Chase
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2012
Hiking

Fun hike with amazing geology!

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Erica K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2012
Walking

Gorgeous, especially in the snow!

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Jennifer Sherman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 11, 2012
Walking

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 trail...so make sure to bring warm cloths with you.

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Kyleigh Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2011
Hiking

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.

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Amy Bevins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2011
Hiking

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

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Barry Sather
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Hiking
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Brett Hebert
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Hiking
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