Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

1,880-foot-deep lava tube. Easy to access.

Cons

No nearby amenities.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

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