Often, during the hottest days of summer, the only cool spots are indoors with the air conditioning turned up high. But who wants to stay indoors when you are on vacation? It is true that your Sunriver Pines vacation cabin is cozy and comfortable and filled with fun things to do, but what kind of vacation would it be if you stayed inside the entire time and never explored the sights? Fortunately, Sunriver rarely gets too hot to enjoy all the Sunriver things to do that surround us, but on the days it is just a little too sticky to be outside for long, why not head underground? Lava River Cave in Sunriver, located off Forest Service Road 21 and costing $10 a day for a National Forest Entry fee, is a mile-long lava tube located in the Newberry Volcanic Monument, and the average daily temperatures only reach up to the mid-40s—even in the summer!
Created by Molten Flowing Lava
Lava tubes are naturally created as molten lava cools, and the Lava River Cave in Sunriver is the largest lava tube in the state of Oregon, about a mile and half in distance. A series of stairs throughout the cave allow you to reach the bottom easily, but if you aren’t in the best physical shape, just take it slow. Once you reach the bottom and begin your tour of the lava tube, you may discover that your summer gear is not enough to keep you warm; temperatures in the 40s make it advisable to wear long pants, closed toes shoes, and a jacket or coat! Refreshing in the hottest months of summer, it will take you about an hour and a half to make your way to the other end of the lava tube, and by that time, you will probably be welcoming the sun and warmer temperatures! The Lava River Cave in Sunriver is only open from May through October; this helps protect the bats that make the cave their home. After October, it’s just too cold, anyway!
An Otherworldly Beauty
As you head below the Earth’s surface, you may start to feel as if you have left Earth altogether. The rocky walls of Lava River Cave in Sunriver still bear the designs the molten lava left behind as it flowed. The floors underneath your feet appear to have been made of waves, and the icicle-looking stone formations hanging from the ceiling aren’t stalactites; they are actually areas where the rock liquefied during the volcano explosion and then hardened again. Exploring the Lava River Cave in Sunriver is an adventure like any other and should not be missed!
Sunriver Things to Do Near Lava River Cave
The Lava River Cave doesn’t take long to explore, and even if you decide to spend more time at the Newberry Volcanic National Monument examining all it has to offer, you’re probably going to have some free time to fill for the day. If you’re still in the mood for outdoor Sunriver things to do, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness area has a lot of space to conquer with it’s nearly 30,000 acres of nature preserve. Obviously, you won’t be able to explore all that area in just an afternoon, or even in a month’s stay, but you can get a start! The Dry River and Badlands Volcano are two of the most popular attractions, but there’s so much more that’s photo worthy and exciting.
If history holds your heart, enjoy a 55-mile trip to the Fort Rock Valley Historical Society Homestead and its collection of historical buildings. Dedicate to depicting pioneer life in its purest form and located at 64696 Fort Rock Road in Fort Rock, this fascinating glimpse into the past may be your favorite part of your Oregon adventure.
When Hunger Strikes
With all the exercise and fresh air you’ll get during your tour of the Lava River Cave in Sunriver and the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area, when dinnertime arrives you will be ready! And since hiking, biking, and exploring depletes necessary nutrients, you can carb up at Pastini, located at 375 SW Powerhouse Drive #3436 in Bend. Every dish they prepare will satisfy more than your appetite; they promise to satisfy your soul as their signature cocktails warm everything else!
Platypus Pub is another of our favorites, found at 1203 NE 3rd Street not far from the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area in Bend and offering pub foods and craft beers that we can’t get enough of! If you still have any excess energy to burn, why not join in a game of darts downstairs? But don’t worry, it’s ok if you just want to sit, drink a beer, and enjoy a bowl of the best chili you’ve ever tasted. Trust us, their Brew House Chili made with stout beer chili, onions, and gooey cheddar cheese will have you considering a second, third, or even fourth trip back to the Platypus, especially knowing that all the exercise you’re getting on your fantastic Oregon adventure will counteract the extra calories!
Sunriver Pines Holds the Key to Your Bend Adventures