Lava Lands Visitor Center


Lava Lands Visitor Center is the interpretive hub of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Friendly rangers will help orient you to the Monument using our 3D topographic map.Visit our state of the art interpretive exhibit on area geologic and cultural history, shop in the Discover Your Forest Bookstore, view a variety of films scheduled daily, walk the Trail of Molten Land and the Trail of the Whispering Pines, travel on the fully accessible 5.5 mile Sun-Lava paved path, picnic under the pines, attend a ranger talk, walk to the top of Lava Butte for a spectacular view of Central Oregon.

During peak season from May 28 to September 5, there is a shuttle that runs approximately every 20 minutes that departs from Lava Lands Visitor Center to access the summit of Lava Butte. The cost is $2 per person for the round trip and exact change is required.  Motorized access by personal vehicles to Lava Butte is not available on days when the shuttle is in service. Access by personal motorized vehicles will resume on September 6th for remainder of the season by free first-come, first-served time permits available at the Lava Lands Welcome Station and only when the Lava Lands Visitor Center is open.

10:00 a.m. First shuttle departs from Lava Lands to Lava Butte

4:00 p.m. Approximate time of last shuttle to Lava Butte for the day

Visitors may access Lava Butte by non-motorized at any time generally from dawn to dusk.

The parking area for the visitor's center is open year-round, although access to Lava Butte by vehicle is limited to May through Columbus Day weekend when the visitor center is open.

For information about accessible recreation opportunities in Pacific Northwest National Forests, visit

Recreation Fee Site: Parking at this site requires a recreation pass May 1 – September 30. Passes are available at this site, but can also be purchased from Forest Service offices or vendors. Please check here for more information about recreation passes and where they can be purchased.

Acceptable passes include:

  • $5 Day Pass
  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Interagency Annual Pass
  • Interagency Senior Pass (America the Beautiful, Golden Age)
  • Interagency Access Pass
  • Interagency Military Pass
  • Every Kid in a Park Pass
  • Northwest Forest ePass

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 2016 Operating Season
  • May 1 - May 23, Thursday - Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • May 26 - September 5, Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • September 6 -  September 30,  Daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • October 1 - 30, Weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • October 31, Visitor Center is CLOSED to the public for the season, but parking for trail access remains open.
  • Day use: $5/vehicle/day or valid recreation pass from May 1 through October 11
  • Tour bus fee: Fifteen people or less = $25.00,  Twenty Five people =$50.00,  Over 25 people = $100.
Open Season: May - September
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: July/August
Closest Towns: Bend, Sunriver, or La Pine - Oregon
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Flush Toilet
Passes: Recreation Passes may be used as a form of day-use fee payment. (Recreation passes are available at Lava Lands Visitor Center.)
Information Center: Lava Lands Visitor Center: 
58201 S. Hwy. 97, Bend, OR 97707

General Information


Accessible facilities, including museum and paved path.


General Directions to 58201 S. Highway 97, Bend, OR 97707:

From Bend, OR travel south on Highway 97. Visitor Center is approximately 8 miles south of Exit 143 Baker/Knot Rd. Turn right into pocket lane when you see lava and the Lava Lands sign.

From La Pine, OR travel north on Highway 97. Take Exit 151/Cottonwood Rd. Turn right after exiting. Continue on road about 2 miles passing Lava River Cave. Turn right after underpass to Lava Lands Visitor Center Welcome Station. If you miss Exit 151, proceed north to Exit 143 Baker/Knot Rd. and follow southbound directions.


Lava Lands Visitor Center has accessible doors and rest rooms. One third of the Trail of the Molten Land has been recontructed to provide a Universally Accessible experience.


Lava Lands Visitor Center now has a before and after hours DAY USE ONLY parking area at the west end of the Lava Lands parking lot for visitors desiring to access the trails before 9:00am or after 5:00pm. Please display your Recreation Pass when parked in this area.


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Recreation Map

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Visitor Centers

Recreation areas with activity Visitor Centers:

Experience the new Lawrence A. Chitwood Exhibit Hall, which marks the final piece of a significant remodel of the Visitors Center. In 2008, a new 1,500 square foot addition was added to the center in order to house the lobby, reception area, and bookstore. These makeovers to the center are the first of their kind in over 30 years. The interpretive themes of the new exhibit hall will showcase how our local geology, ecology, climate, and culture are all interwoven. Through various partnerships and assistance, we are able to showcase the latest information on topics ranging from volcanic activity in the Cascade Mountains to Paleo-Indian technology. In addition, new hands-on activities will allow younger visitors to explore the bottom of Paulina Lake, test out the weight and buoyancy of our local rocks, examine a molar of a Columbian Mammoth, and experience the sights and sounds of an active volcano! The exhibit hall is dedicated in memory of Larry Chitwood, former geologist with Deschutes National Forest, and recognizes his significant contributions to the development and scientific understanding of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We hope that you enjoy the exhibits and your experience at Lava Lands Visitor’s Center.


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