Lava Butte

Halfway between Bend and Sunriver is Lava Butte, a 5,020 foot cinder cone. The Lava Lands Visitor Center sits at the base of the butte and is the hub of the Newberry Caldera National Monument. The center hosts a delightful northwest bookstore and informative interpretive site (complete with topographic map and helpful rangers). There is an easy 5.5 mile pathway through the lava fields that starts from the Visitor Center. You can walk or drive to the top of the butte, though in Summer months space is limited so 30-minute passes are available on a first come- basis. A NW Forest Pass or day use fee is required from May through October. The adventurous can walk up the butte, year-round, for free.

Lava Butte in January
Walking past a lava field, to Lava Butte
Lava Butte in Winter
Near the summit of Lava Butte, overlooking Highway 97
Lava Butte
Fire lookout on the summit of Lava Butte

The fire lookout has been active since 1931. The current structure has been remodeled several times, most recently in 1998. It is a two story replica of a gable roofed L-4. The first floor is open to the public and identifies the surrounding buttes.

View of Sunriver Meadow and Ann’s Butte
Mt Bachelor and Lava Flow
Lava Fields and Mt. Bachelor from Lava Butte

3 responses to “Lava Butte”

  1. […] friends and it is perfect for that, to catch up and get out and feel refreshed! I used to walk up Lava Butte and see to the West, a golden meadow. I thought, where is that […]


  2. […] ‘hike’ and it features tree molds formed by molten lava! It also pairs nicely with Lava Butte and Lava River Cave and if you visit all three you’ll be an expert on ancient volcanic […]


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