Boyd Cave

East of Bend is China Hat road, gateway to High Desert recreation, even in winter. Among several buttes, hiking and mountain bike trails are a collection of volcanic tube caves. Many of the caves have been closed to preserve bats/integrity, Boyd Cave (formerly Coyote Butte Cave) is open to the public.  The cave is somewhat developed, a guard rail and staircase lead  into the cave, the main tunnel extends 1,600m to the left. Headlamps, sturdy shoes, and a heavy jacket make this trek quite enjoyable. The volcanic caves in this area remain a constant 45 degrees Farenheit, a welcome heat wave on this particular 20 degree day.  The cave is easily negotiable using a bit of common sense and caution.

Cascade Mountain Range and Coyote Butte
Looking West towards the Cascades, Coyote Butte on the right
Ice Stalactites
Ice stalactites hang from the cave ceiling
My Husband and daughter stumbling into an inter-dimensional portal
Boyd Cave off China Hat
Entrance of Boyd Cave from the main lava tube
Ice stalagmites towards the rear of the tube
Inside of Boyd Cave, Bend Oregon
Light shining on the ceiling of the cave

When I was in High School I had the pleasure of exploring many of the caves that are now closed to the public. My parents warned me of KKK and satanic cults using these caves for meetings and rituals. I did come across some disturbing graffiti as well as evidence of animal sacrifice. This was over a decade ago and was likely what lead to the caves closure. Boyd Cave is visited daily by commercial tours and is considered a very safe place to visit. This area is still a popular spot among shooters and one should always be prepared for animal and human encounters when exploring the natural world.

Boyd Cave is accessible from China Hat Road. Travel East approximately 8 miles on China Hat, then turn left onto Forest Service Road 18-242. There is a sign. Happy Spelunking!

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