- Karla Gadea
Deschutes National Forest is comprised of 1.8 million acres along the east side of the Cascade Range located in Oregon. This National Forest contains the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, with cinder cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. And also contains 250 known caves, five wilderness areas, six National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Oregon Cascade Recreational Area and the Metolius Conservation Area. There are many activities in the Deschutes National Forest like boating, fishing, wildlife watching, and hiking, as well as mountain biking on an extensive system of trails. Deschutes also has hiking and skiing on Mount Bachelor, a stratovolcano in the Cascade Range.
There are five officially designated wilderness areas within Deschutes National Forest: Diamond Peak, Mount Jefferson, Mount Thielsen Wilderness, Mount Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness.
Big Obsidian Trail(Spring-Fall)(Beginner): A one-mile interpretive trail climbs up and onto this impressive lava flow of obsidian and pumice. Along the trail, there are seven interpretive signs which discuss the geology, biology, history, and archaeology of the Big Obsidian Flow. It’s not a difficult hike, but the trail is cut through jagged pumice and obsidian that can cut your feet if you’re wearing open toed shoes.
Lava Butte and Lava River Cave: Lava River Cave, the longest known lava tube in Oregon; steps take visitors 150 feet down to the floor of a smooth-walled cavern, which may be followed for nearly a mile. Lava Butte is a symmetric cinder cone at the edge of a big flow of jagged, jet black lava, stretching six miles to the Deschutes River. The nearby Lava Lands Visitor Center includes a museum, bookstore, and video theater, and acts as the main information point for the whole national monument, while three short and one long trail lead into and alongside the lava fields.
Paulina Creek Falls: This is a very short trail to some of the best scenery in the park. From the parking lot, it’s just a short walk to the viewpoint overlooking the double falls, which plummet about 80 feet below. For a better angle, take the quarter mile path down to the bottom of the falls. It’s an easy walk for just about everyone – and worth the trip.
Lava Cast Forest Trail(Spring-Fall)(Beginner): Lava Cast Forest is a 1-mile loop trail located near La Pine, OR 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 accessible from May until October.
Lost Lake Trail: Lost Lake Trail heads up from the lakes into the drier part of the Newberry Caldera. This trail affords some excellent views of The Big Obsidian Flow as well as pumice flats and other features of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Lost Lake South Trail connects Lost Lake Trail near Pumice Flat to the Crater Rim Trail. Steep in places.
Boyd Cave: Located 20 miles southeast of Bend, Boyd Cave is a well preserved lava tube stretching close to a mile. To get there, take Highway 97 South through Bend and turn left on China Hat Road. Go straight for exactly 9 miles. Turn left at mile 9 onto the trail at FS242. You will know it has been 9 miles if you see a cattle guard and the road becomes unpaved just a few feet ahead. The small park sign will say 0.5 miles to Boyd Cave, continue on till a round about and look for the stair case.
Hiking, Trails, Caving
Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Logding Options
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bend (300 NW Franklin Ave, Bend, OR 97701)
Phone: (541) 317-9292
Comfort Inn & Suites (62065 SE 27th St, Bend, OR 97701)
Phone: (541) 617-9696
Riverhouse on the Deschutes (3075 U.S. 97 Business, Bend, OR 97703)
Phone: (541) 389-3111