Lava River Cave Trail [CLOSED] is a 1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bend, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 1.0 miles Elevation Gain: 16 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

closed

no dogs

Please note that this trail is currently closed due to COVID 19. This is a short trail that leads to a lava cave that goes back a mile. It is recommended that you bring your own flashlight or headlamp. You can rent a flashlight at the trailhead, although they may run out. Depending on the time of year, there are bats in the cave. The parking lot can fill up, so you will want to get there early to beat the crowd. The trail in the cave is part stairs, rocks, and sand.

hiking
closed
3 days ago

Closed but fence is easy to hop

hiking
3 months ago

FYI the trail and whole area is closed from Oct 1st through April.

hiking
8 months ago

amazing experience! great cave, make sure to wear proper shoes and bring warm clothes ( I'd even recommend gloves). if you didn't bring a flashlight rent one. the light on your phone will not cut it!

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

The parking is a huge issue. I would suggest getting there at opening. It’s also smart to definitely rent the $5 light because it’s DARK and small flashlights won’t cut it. Very very slippery because of the sand on the rocks so be careful!

hiking
8 months ago

This touristy place tends to be a bit busy, but there are clearly reasons why it's so popular. It was a short wait for parking, but that's okay...better than having the cave itself backed up with people. There's a very brief, informative talk to attend before checking in to explore the cave. Heads up: don't bring anything with you, or on you, that has been in another cave or that you may want to take into some other cave. It will be explained better during the talk, but basically even 10 years after an item has been exposed to fungus in another cave, it could carry spores and spread white nose syndrome (WNS) - devastating for bats. Anyhow, it is a really cool cave. Literally, too - bring warm clothes no matter what the outside weather is like. It's a great hike for kids, though it might not be the best match for all little ones.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun and easy cave hike. First portion of the cave has railings and grated portions for the worst of the trail. We did see quite a few people slipping and falling, so go slow over those portions and don't wear street shoes if you want traction. Some low ceilings throughout. Headlamps are a must.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Mile long lava tube cave, easy trail . Suggest renting lights for $5, otherwise you won't see much. Didn't see any bats. When in the cave , stop and don't move then turn your light off for a few seconds to experience total darkness.

hiking
9 months ago

super cool and dark. went with a 3 year old and went about 60 percent of the way. the first part is rocky and a lot of down steps but then it's pretty sandy. wish I has a head lamp so I didn't have to carry the lantern

hiking
10 months ago

Parking still an issue. Put us in a parking queue and got a spot within 10 minutes. Rangers helpful. Nice relaxing hike after Moraine Lake right before. Got hot so nice to get into a 42* cave. Lots of noisy kids and parents not parenting, got jostled a few times when kids pushed by. Beautiful inside if you take your time and rent a spotlight for $5, you can pause and check out the walls and ceiling as you go. Uneven footing and holes throughout so take your time.

hiking
10 months ago

I did this on July 4th and parking really sucked. So much so I circled a few times, left and came back about an hour and half later and got lucky with a spot. The hike itself was good mile in and mile back. While I brought a head lamp, I was happy to have rented a 1k flashlight (DO IT, it's worth it). The cave is expansive enough that smaller lights don't and won't show you what you need to experience within the cave. I was able to light up parts of the cave for folks so they could do proper selfies and other photos too. IT's well worth the hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Parking is an issue.

hiking
11 months ago

Amazing hike, and extremely impressive underground lava tube. first little bit after the stairs is a bit Rocky and slick, but after that is all sand and relatively flat. be sure to bring a bright light, although they do rent out lights before you can enter the cave. Also dress warm! It was fairly cold, average temperature is in the low 40's.

hiking
11 months ago

An amazing and relatively easy hike into a deep dark cave. Have the opportunity to travel a long distance (1 mile) underground. Bring a sweatshirt and make sure you rent a light (or bring at least 1000 lumens light). You won’t be disappointed.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

My first cave...loved it. Very cool. Temperature is chilly, light sweater is more than enough if you don't stop for too long.

hiking
11 months ago

Very cool and fairly easy to navigate. Cave is cool in temperature, but a sweatshirt is sufficient. Wear good shoes since you'll be clambering over rocks/uneven ground at times.

hiking
Mon May 27 2019

Very cold! Bring a sweatshirt for sure because it’s at least 15 degrees cooler than the normal weather. Bring flashlights if you don’t want to wait in line to rent them! Went in the end of April. Super cool experience and good flat ground for kids if they don’t mind the dark.

hiking
rocky
Sun May 26 2019

This is a great trail through 7,000 year old lava caves. Bring a flashlight and warm clothes. If you have been in caves recently, then do not bring the clothes you wore them for this trail to avoid spreading cave fungus. The parking lot gets crowded fast. There is a dirt side road not too far away where you can park as well.

Mon Sep 17 2018

Great family hike. Be sure to wear clothes for a dank/dark 42-degree trek. Also bring lanterns or headlamps for everyone. The start of the path is paved but then gets a bit rocky so you need to see where you are going! Went with 4-year-old and 2-month-old (in a carrier on my chest).

Mon Sep 10 2018

I agree with the other reviewers. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your own flashlights. The cave trail is a mile in and a mile out. The terrain is rocky and uneven and, obviously, dark.

hiking
Fri Aug 10 2018

Unique! Bring a very bright light, a tissue or two and wear a warm coat. Cave ventures back about a mile and a sign notifies you when to stop. Be aware not to wear any other clothes that you've worn in other caves. Definitely worth seeing!

hiking
Sat Jul 28 2018

I came to the lava river cave 7/7/18 for my cousin's birthday and bachelorette get away and it was fun but it can get busy and they only let so much people go in because it's a cave. the reason I rate this hike 3/5 because I like to see my surroundings, just because I like to look at things as I hike. this was also my first cave hike and for me, I would say that it was a good first time experience but I wouldn't come to bend again just for this hike because I'm not a cave hiker. but I would rather go to an outdoor hike out in bend instead :) also before coming to this hike, bring your own flashlight so you wouldn't have to buy or rent a mediocre flashlight that cost $10. bring a sweater or jacket, it is cold inside the cave. and be prepared, you have to go through an orientation before going inside the cave, and there might be a line going inside the cave.

hiking
Wed Jul 18 2018

Bring bright flashlights for every person who visits. Use the bathroom before you go. Mind the limited hours and days because you can only visit when it's staffed and open. Dress for warmth in 42 degrees fahrenheit even in the summer - it's ALWAYS that temperature! I have been to the Lava River Cave several times over the years. This review is for my favorite time in July 2007 when I went with my 3 best friends from high school. It was a blast! My friend Jim and I climbed to the upper tube in one area - a considerable challenge. The length is inaccurate on AllTrails. It is just over a mile to the end of the cave, so 2 miles out and back. Of course you don't have to go all the way to the end. There are points where the tube is very cramped (you have to bend over or even crawl) while other places it is huge, with the ceiling towering overhead. The cave is a rather crowded touristy area with a manned booth and various rules, but that can actually help it feel "safer" or less "creepy." There are other less known and less crowded caves around, but this is a good one to take visitors who are new to the area.

hiking
Wed Jun 13 2018

Wow wow wow!!! Super cool hike with the family. The lava cave is like no other cave we have been to. Really cold and dark! Def rent the lanterns there. Been inside The cave is like being locked inside the fridge. Also wear clothes that you haven’t worn in another cave or mine. This is to prevent spreading a fungus called “white nose” that is killing bats. A must while in Bend this summer :-)

Tue Jun 05 2018

No dogs allowed

hiking
Mon May 21 2018

Very novice cave, easy for the whole family! I would recommend a good light. They rent lanterns. You have to go through an “orientation” before you enter to Learn of the bats and the white nose syndrome but it’s short. GO EARLY because by the time we left there were lots of people. If you want to see it before you go, there is a short video I posted on my YouTube. Copy and paste the link below! https://youtu.be/JUHF39DbUdM

Sun Feb 18 2018

Loved it. Was pretty cold around 45-50 degrees in the cave. Kids enjoyed every minute until they got a little cold but still loved it.

hiking
Thu Nov 16 2017

This is a great mile long cave exploration. It is also established and safe. Be sure to respect the bats and learn about white nose syndrome. Here is a video I made on the place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxOBkG6K0HY

walking
Mon Sep 25 2017

It is DARK! Rent the light they have if possible, because even a Mag light didn't cut it. We made it to the sand gardens before I started thinking the next time I put my beam up, I'd see Pennywise. The sound of dripping water made this much worse. However, my 3 year old, and 17 month old loved the rocks, and the cave ceiling. I scare easily. Still worth the walk into the cave.

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