There are many different lava tubes to check out around Oregon, with some offering easier access than others. Some of the tubes are not actually open to the public for safety or conservation reasons, while others are ready and waiting to welcome you in. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best lava tubes in Oregon.
- Lava River Cave
Located in Deschutes County, not far from the city of Bend, Lava River Cave is one of the best-known lava tubes in all of Oregon. Situated in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Lava River Cave runs for over 5,000 feet in length and was discovered way back in the late 19th century. It can be accessed via Highway 97 and is one of the most popular natural tourist spots in the area. A full staircase has been installed for convenient access into the cave and a forest trail leads to the entrance, making this one of the easier caves to explore. It's important to note that Lava River Cave is only open from May through to October each year.
- Boyd Cave
Situated southeast of Bend, Boyd Cave represents a bit more of a physical exploration challenge than locations like Lava River Cave. This lava tube has broken down over the years, with piles of rubbles and volcanic sand along the path. The ceiling also becomes progressively lower over time, eventually reaching a point where it simply turns into a tiny crawlspace. It's only a small lava tube, but it's fascinating to explore and has a very unique formation.
- Skeleton Cave
This lava tube was named due to the fact that a lot of old bones were found near its entrance when it was discovered, but don't worry: they were animal bones. Due to the sheer drop at the lava tube's entrance, many animals must have fallen down over the years. Most of the bones have since been cleared out, but a few remain. The passageways of this lava tube are very exciting to explore, and it's open from May through to the end of September each year.