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.
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.