Boyd Cave

Deschutes National Forest

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Boyd Cave

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  • Small sign on China Hat Road marking the turn off for Boyd Cave.- Boyd Cave
  • View of Boyd Cave entrance looking west toward the Three Sisters.- Boyd Cave
  • The Three Sisters from Boyd Cave.- Boyd Cave
  • Middle Sister (10,047') and North Sister (10,085') from Boyd Cave 12 miles southeast of Bend.- Boyd Cave
  • Boyd Cave.- Boyd Cave
  • Boyd Cave.- Boyd Cave
  • Boyd Cave.- Boyd Cave
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
1,880-foot-deep lava tube. Easy to access.
Cons: 
No nearby amenities.
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Region:
Central Oregon, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Estimated to have been formed roughly 10,000 years ago by Newberry Volcano, Boyd Cave is an 1,880-foot-long lava tube located roughly 12 miles southeast of Bend, Oregon. Well preserved and featuring pāhoehoe and ʻaʻā basalt formations, Boyd Cave can only be accessed by a small 6-foot-diameter oculus in the cave's ceiling. By venturing down 20 feet via a set of sturdy steel stairs the visitor will quickly enter into a unique and chilly underground setting.

Lava tubes form as the top layer of a lava flow is exposed to air. The air cools the lava, which slows as it begins to solidify.  Meanwhile, the lava lower down remains at temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees and continues to flow like a river below the hardened top crust. If the river has the opportunity to drain, the lava tube remains.

According to Wikipedia:

  • Pāhoehoe (/pəˈhoʊ.iːˈhoʊ.iː/; from Hawaiian meaning "smooth, unbroken lava"), also spelled pahoehoe, is basaltic lava that has a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface. These surface features are due to the movement of very fluid lava under a congealing surface crust.
  • In contrast, ʻAʻā is basaltic lava characterized by a rough or rubbly surface composed of broken lava blocks called clinker.

Note: Be sure to dress warmly as temperatures in the cave remain around 42 degrees year round, and be sure to bring headlights, flashlights, or lanterns for visibility and safety. While you are in the area, be sure to visit nearby Skeleton Cave (by special permit only, call 541.389.8359 for details), Arnold Ice Cave, Hidden Forest Cave or Pictograph Cave.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(24 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(87 within a 30 mile radius)

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