Escape the hustle of city life during your Bend, Oregon adventure getaway and check out some of the incredible outdoor attractions found around the area. Countless hiking trails will lead you to some of the most extraordinary places you have ever seen. One of these locations is the popular Boyd Cave. This well-preserved lava tube is believed to be almost 400,000 years old. Luckily, nature has been kind to Boyd Cave, letting you explore through almost 2,000 feet of lava tube.
How Lava Tubes are Formed
When lava flows it leaves the center of eruption in narrow passages. Lava tubes are pathways that are formed by hot lava which flows under older lava flows that have already hardened. When the lava flow drains or simply stops, the rock cools and a long cave remains.
Although Boyd Cave is less than a mile, there are some lava tubes that are quite long. There is a tube in Mauna Loa that extends some 31 miles and runs underwater. Lava tubes often branch out into a network of tubes, leaving plenty of areas for a hiker to explore.
Lava tubes exist on many different planets. Lunar lava tubes have been researched as possible habitats for people. Mars has many collapsed lava tubes that form the pit craters seen on the surface of that planet.
Hiking to Boyd Cave
The trek to Boyd Cave is a simple one and is roughly half a mile long. Boyd Cave in Bend Oregon is best accessed from China Hat Road, one of the exits from Highway 97 South. The cave is approximately 20 miles southeast of Bend, making it just a short drive from your vacation rental.
Boyd Cave Itself
Once inside Boyd Cave you will find a cool hideaway that is perfect to explore on a warm day during the summer. The majority of the cave can be traversed on foot with the exception of one 8- to 10-foot section that requires hikers to crawl; some other sections may have you crouching down, especially for those are tall. The hike through Boyd Cave is roughly one mile long and you can exit on the other side. There is a 90-foot elevation gain within the cave. Boyd Cave is not for those who are claustrophobic. Having access to headlamps or flashlights is highly recommended so you can see what is in front of you. More experienced hikers may recommend headlamps so you can keep your hands free during your trek.
Hours of Operation
Boyd Cave is open year-round, and it is free of charge. Although it is opened around the clock, it is always a good idea to explore the cave during the day.
Preparing for Boyd Cave
If you are new to the area, make sure to double check your packing list. As mentioned, having a light source is basically required during your visit to Boyd Cave in Bend Oregon. However, packing a secondary light source is also recommended just in case your light does go out. Comfortable hiking shoes will make your experience even better. Last, do not forget water and a camera, as the sights may take your breath away. It is always a good idea to pack a snack and a first aid kit whenever you go on any hike. You should also always bring a friend on any hike.
Things to Do Nearby
Once you finish exploring Boyd Cave in Bend, Oregon, you can walk directly out onto Coyote Loop Trail. The trail takes you across China Hat Road. Once crossing the road, you can take a tree lined path to the Swamp Wells Horse Camp. Bend is a great place for horseback riding and most people prefer to ride in the winter when the ground is harder.
There are a few great places to eat near the cave. Be sure to check out Salud Raw Foods, which is a vegan restaurant that features such unique dishes as a Bliss out Burrito and nachos made with walnut meat. Dang’s Vietnamese Restaurant offers a tasty selection of the creamy, crunchy and spicy dishes for which the country is famous. Mantra Indian Kitchen offers a selection of fiery curries and filling rice dishes that are sure to please any palate.
A Spelunking Bend Getaway
Check out the Boyd Cave and other amazing outdoor attractions during your next Bend getaway. You will find the best in amenities and home features when you choose Bend Vacation Rentals for your lodging. If you have done your research, you have probably noticed that hotels and motels in the Bend area are not cheap and many of them have few amenities. You and your family deserve a fabulous place to stay on your vacation. The travel experts at Bend Vacation Rentals can find you the perfect place to stay, whether you are a party of 2 or 20. Our privately-owned vacation rentals are second to none and will have you in close proximity to all of the exciting attractions around Bend. Give us a call today at 541-385-9492.