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Lava Cave Hike ~ June 10, 2006

Posted by on June 10, 2006

This impressive lava tube is located in the Coconino National Forest northwest of Flagstaff. From U.S. Highway 180, take Forest Road 245 west for about three miles, then go south for roughly 1 ½ miles on Forest Road 171, and turn left on FR 171B. This cave was formed within a few hours when an ancient volcano erupted. The cave is almost ¾ of a mile long and never gets above 45 degrees F. In some spots the cave is only about 3 feet high, while in others the ceiling is 30 feet high and shaped like a subway tunnel. There is no admission charge, no tour guides, and no facilities. You’re on your own but there is only one way in and out. Small children will need help scrambling down the boulder pile at the entrance.

Take a virtual tour! Each of the following photos will open in a new window:

Lava River Cave Sign *
(*Oversized so you can read the words and view the map.)
Cave Entrance
Our Group Heading into Cave
Descending Down
Going Down, Watch Your Step!
Interior of Cave
View Down the Tunnel
Walking Inside the Tube
Walking Along on Hardened Lava
Our Group at Spot with High Ceiling
Looking Around Inside Cave
Climbing Out
Back at the Surface

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