Lava Butte, Cave, and Lava Cast Forest are three trails, all leading to similar places, located in the same region: We don’t usually talk about more than one trail at a time, but this makes the most sense! If you are new to Bend, you may not realize that a lot of our land is built on the formerly red-hot lava that erupted from the Newberry Volcano thousands of years ago, and these three trails are located where the action is-or in this case, where the action WAS! Each trail offers a unique perspective of the area around them while also offering a chance to get out and walk off those rich vacation meals you’ve been partaking in during your stay in scenic Oregon!
Standing tall and proud and rising up over 600 feet, Lava Butte is where you can get some of the best views of the lava flows that occurred approximately 7000 years ago. A small gravel trail leads you to the top of the butte, an easy hike, but not meant for motorized vehicles or bikes. Lava Butte is also home to three other trails: Trail of the Molten Lands, a paved trail a little less than a mile long; Whispering Pines Trail, which is 1/3 of a mile long; and Black Rock Trail, which meanders on for a whopping 13 miles. Black Rock Trail is meant for more serious hikers, while the first two we mentioned can be attempted by just about anyone. All three trails have very little vegetation and include lava balls, drains, and squeeze-ups.
The Lava Cave is actually a mile-long lava tube that descends about 55 steps down into the cold, where you can go on a self-guided tour. Because of uneven surfaces, the elderly or people with disabilities may want to forego this trail. This trail leads the way through one of our most unique regional treasures. The views from the Lava Cave are just that-views of the lava cave-but it’s a trail that everyone who is capable of trying should experience!
Lava Cast Forest
This short but sweet trail is a favorite with wildflower lovers, as they bloom so colorfully in the most barren of lands. Lasting just less than a mile, families with young children can easily handle Lava Cast Forest, even if one of the youngsters require a piggy back ride halfway through! Keep a close eye on your surroundings and you will be able to see the cast impressions of the trees that once grew plentifully in this area.
Kids are generally fascinated by three things: princesses, dinosaurs, and volcanoes, so be sure to take plenty of pictures during your hikes so you can discuss them later. Pour milk for the kids, bring out the camera, and enjoy being comfortable in your Bend Vacation Rentals cozy escape as you discuss the day’s adventures!