There is a 500 feet tall Cinder Cone Lave Butte in central Oregon between the towns of Bend Oregon and Sunriver Oregon. Lava Butte is a 7,000-year-old cinder cone located on the flanks of Newberry Volcano. It is part of a system of small cinder cones is capped by a crater, normally extends about 60 feet deep beneath its south rim and 160 feet deep from the north side. Lava Butte only single eruption in 1977, started the fissure spewing hot cinders to form the cone.
A river of hot basalt flowed from a small volcano cover the large area remains largely free of vegetation. The Cinder cones normally happen as vents on the sides of volcanoes, largely shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes. The Lava Butte get hardened and created a natural dam in a river, and when it finally eroded, Benham Falls. Lava Butte is a fascinating example of the damage that volcanoes can cause!
The magma spewed from Lava Butte was Scoria and other volcanic ashes, and also contained some Basalt. Lava Butte primitive history is not confirmed. The Native American observed the eruptions and then ascended the prominent new landmark. I.C. Russel was the first geologist to get there for research purpose in 1903. He speculated that Lave Butte erupted almost 150 years ago. The parking lot at Lava Butte is limited to 10 vehicles and passes are issued for 30 minutes only at first come first served basis.
You can see the rugged Cascade Mountains in the background and acres of green grass and trees. You may also see the infrequent patch of colorful wildflowers, some trees, bushes, no vegetation, and under the right conditions, bears a small resemblance to the surface of the moon. The temperatures on the lava flow trail are quite warm in July, so you need to dress accordingly and bring sufficient water and sunscreen. Further a restroom and water available at the visitor center, and a restroom with no water at the summit of Lava Butte.
Hiking Trails of Lava Butte
The calderas Lava Butte hiking up is a year-round option. A scenic rim trail around the top of Lava Butte is .35 miles long. Hiking around Lava Butte is one of the popular activities in Sunriver. The three main trails offer varying degrees of difficulty.
- Molten Land
- Whispering Pines Trail
- Black Rock Trail
Lava River Cave
The Lava River Cave entrance is just 700 feet from US 97. This is very popular Lave River Cave has ample parking area and a kiosk where propane lanterns may be rented. This is a narrow cave, contains unstable ceiling rocks, and is closed to the public but the longer northwestern part is unobstructed and straightforward to follow.
Moreover, the descent is supported by steps and railings down 150 feet via a slope of fallen boulders to the floor. That remains flat and level all the way, apart from a few small downward steps. Also, long ridges along the walls mark different levels of the flowing lava, and the ceiling is lined with solidified droplets, where molten rock once dripped. Source: CP