We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Save
Book In Advance
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information
  
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Bend
from US$299.00
More Info
from US$575.00
More Info
from US$299.00
More Info
Reviews (338)
Filter reviews
326 results
Traveller rating
180
119
22
3
2
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
180
119
22
3
2
Show reviews that mention
All reviews cinder cone whispering pines volcanic activity exact change ranger talk benham falls interesting place limited parking worth a stop volcanic area starting point central oregon gift shop forest service mile hike three sisters obsidian flow
Filter
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 326 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Why close up for the fall. Many adults like to visit in off season, so open up and charge more to visit if that's what it takes to let the public see their Lava Lands Visitor Center.

Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2018

Great Balls of Fire! You absolutely must take the “Molten Lands” trail below the landmark Lava Butte cinder cone – part of a complex of “volcanic wonders” in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

This gentle “Molten Lands” walk amid a rocky moonscape spreading over 9 square miles will electrify your senses!

Although ankle-breaking chunks of lava are everywhere, you can safely stroll along the relatively flat paved trail as it beautifully winds through stunning lava landscape created over 7,000 years ago from a spectacular fiery eruption.

Amazingly the devastated scenery will leave you breathless! We were surprised to see a young bride posing there in her wedding dress! As you circle round, you will see the distant peaks of magnificent mountains to the west, and get great panoramic views farther up!

Bright golden bouquets of wildflowers punctuate the pathways, and my favorite were the “rabbitbrush” bushes – which had lured a cute little yellow-pine chipmunk to feed on the flowers & seeds. We got some photos, but after a few moments, the chipmunk suddenly fled, scampering with ease over the lava jumble.

Perhaps you’ll also hear a strange staccato clicking – sounding like a sprinkler system! Look closer and you’ll spy the male, pallid-winged grasshopper – with yellow “skirt” flared, aerially dancing to attract a mate.

The “Trail of the Molten Lands” is just a short stroll from the Lava Lands Visitor Center, and begins at the edge of the pine forest facing the prominent 500-foot-high Lava Butte cinder cone. Interpretive signs along the way enhance your experience as you truly “Step into Another World!”

This loop trail is very walkable for young & old, extending just over a mile roundtrip, with an optional side path - a 300-foot steeper hike up to the viewpoint. You may want to carry a walking stick for that part, or have a partner help you to the top!

It took us about an hour to leisurely walk the entire loop - pausing to take photos, read the excellent interpretive signs along the way, & admire the scenery! Unlike the ¼ mile perimeter trail at the top of Lava Butte, there was no feeling of acrophobia on this broadened landscape.

Although dogs on leashes are allowed, the pathways are really too narrow to pass people with their pets – especially large dogs. There are plenty of wider trails nearby for pet walking, such as the Whispering Pines Trail near the parking lot, and additional paved & forest trails extending for miles beyond this area (a popular place for bicycling)!

Be sure to stop in the Visitor Center (open daily 10 am to 4 pm)– with more interpretive displays, & a small gift shop. Across from the Visitor Center are nice restrooms.
Note that the Visitor Center will be closed to the public for the season, beginning October 8th, but you can still access the trails.

This day use area charges $5 per vehicle, or you can get in free with your recreation pass. There’s lots of free parking once you enter, with picnic tables nearby, and numerous golden-mantled ground squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around to entertain you! You can also view a variety of birds attracted to a pan of water just outside the Visitor Center – such as Robins, Clark’s Nutcrackers, Townsend’s Solitaires, and energetic little Red-breasted Nuthatches.

If you want to drive to the top of Lava Butte – with plunging slopes that overlook Highway 97 way below, plus get an eagle eye’s view of the extensive lava flow – you get a pass at the entry gate (only open to Oct. 7), with a time to drive up there (since there are limited parking spaces), and you have just half an hour to hike the trail, and return down. Another option is to walk to the top!

We visited in late September, and had the trails nearly to ourselves. It was also cooler to enjoy the walks. We will definitely return to hike the amazing “Molten Lands” trail which literally takes you “out of this world!” No wonder the Apollo Astronauts practiced their lunar walks here!

3  Thank Kathy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2018

This park information centre is very good if your are interested in volcanoes, lava, and or the local geological history however the location also offers parking for the start of some very good biking and walking trails for all skill levels. One of the main trails leads to a connection with over 30 miles of paved bike trails. As it is very close to Bend yoiu can do thios as a day trip or stop on your way down to Crater Lake.

1  Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2018

This is a volcanic area just south of Bend. It is a National Monument with a visitors center. You can drive to the top of the cone a have a good look around the area. There are also trails to explore.

Thank Terry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2018

The interpretive center is very helpful and it is fun to walk around the lava fields and see real honest to goodness lava up close. While the eruption occurred a long time ago, it looks like it might have happened in just the last couple of years. It is worth going to the top of Lava Butte to look at the crater.

2  Thank Oskarduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2018

It is not often that you see lava rocks, especially such an extensive amount of them in one place. It was great to walk among them, read about them and see the views from them. Worth the trip - take the time to do it.

Thank Barbara F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2018

This was my 2nd time visiting, and this time I made sure I arrived as soon as they opened so we could hike the trail before the heat made it unbearable (today was going to be in the upper 90's). Doing the hike first, then going to the the interpretive center was a good idea. Bring water, good shoes and stay on the path (the volcanic rock is sharp, so you wouldn't want to trip & fall into it). Amazing views, interesting terrain, adorable tiny chipmunks scurrying around, and the smell of Ponderosa pines on the Whispering Pines trail makes this place really special.

2  Thank LeniPDX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2018

In the busy months, the road to the lookout is by bus only. Having driven the road when the bus was not available, I would urge the bus over navigating the narrow one lane road with two lane traffic.
There is an easy circumferential trail around the edge of the crater at the top.
There is also an excellent walking trail through fairly recent lava.
Be sure to take your camera on both hikes. The trail around and through the recent lava field offers some excellent shots of lava and vegetation. There are parts of the lower trail not ADA, but they are called out ahead, and offer alternate paths. The upper circumferential trail is not ADA.
Interpretive exhibits in the Visitor Center are first class. Take the time to look around and check out the a/v exhibits.

1  Thank Ted B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2018 via mobile

Don’t miss this unique natural landmark! For just a few dollars, you can take a shuttle bus to the top of the Lava Butte, where you will have a great view of everything around you as well as the inside of an extinct volcano. We especially appreciated the enthusiasm and knowledge of the volunteers who answered tourist’s questions, and enjoyed this short walk around the top of the rim. The little visitor center at the base will teach you more about the natural theology, and if you step outside there it’s like walking on the moon, if the moon had chipmunks. This is one of our favorite places to bring visitors to Sunriver.

1  Thank Kathy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

On the way to Sunriver, easy access.Plenty of parking, educational videos are shown. good place to learn about Volcanic seismic activity

Thank srimanone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews