Lava Lands Visitor Center


Area Status: Open

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.

Lava Butte Interpretive Site During peak season from June 17 through Labor Day weekend, there is a shuttle that runs approximately every 20 minutes that departs from Lava Lands Visitor Center to access the summit of Lava Butte.

  • Visitors may access Lava Butte by non-motorized at any time generally from dawn to dusk.
  • The parking area for the visitor center is open year-round and access is dependent upon snow accumulations during winter months.

For information about accessible recreation opportunities in Pacific Northwest National Forests, visit R6 PNW Forest Service Accessible Adventures.

Recreation Fee Site: Parking at the Lava Lands Visitor Center requires a $5/vehicle payment or a valid recreation pass. Passes can be purchased from Forest Service offices or local vendors. See "Passes" below for more information.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 2022 Operating Season
  • May 6 - May 31 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Thursday - Monday (Closed Tuesday / Wednesday)
  • June 1 - October 10 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Open 7 days/week
Fees: Day Use: $5/vehicle/day or valid recreation pass

Commercial Fee
- 15 people or less = $25
- 25 people = $50
- 25 people or more = $100


School/Education Groups: Please book your tour in advance with our non-profit partner Discover Your Forest
Open Season: May 6, 2022 - October 10, 2022
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Bend / Sunriver / La Pine, Oregon
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Flush Toilet
Passes: Recreation Fee Site: Parking at this site requires a $5 payment or a recreation pass. Recreation passes may be purchased at the Lava Lands Welcome Station. Please check here for more information about recreation passes and locations where they can be purchased.  Acceptable passes include:
Information Center: Lava Lands Visitor Center
58201 S. Hwy. 97
Bend, OR 97707
(541) 593-2421

General Information

Accessibility:

Accessible facilities, including museum and paved path.


Directions:

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.


Parking:

Lava Lands offers day use only parking at the west end of the Lava Lands Visitor Center parking lot for visitors desiring to access the trails, grounds and Lava Butte on foot outside of visitor center operating hours.  A recreation pass is required.


Accessibility:

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.


Parking:

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.


Accessibility:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

General Info:

Accessibility

Accessible facilities, including museum and paved path.


Road Cycling

Recreation areas with activity Road Cycling:

The Sunriver to Lava Lands multi-use path (Sun-Lava) is a paved, non-motorized path between Sunriver, Benham East Day Use Area and Lava Butte. The path offers an accessible recreation opportunity that will allow people of all abilities to explore their National Monument and neighboring destinations.

View of map of this paved path here.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Behind the Visitor Center are two self guided interpretive trails that can be explored at your own pace.  The Trail of Molten Land meanders over the 7000 year-old lava flow from Lava Butte, which is the imposing cinder cone behind the Visitor Center. The Trail of the Whispering Pines wanders through a young ponderosa pine forest. It is possible to walk up Lava Butte, but there is no trail, you have to walk up the congested road, please watch for traffic. Black Rock Trail begins at the lower parking lot of the Visitor Center and continues over 4 miles to the Deschutes River along the lava flow. The Sun-Lava paved path is 5.5 miles of non-motorized trail that connects Lava Butte to East Benham Falls Day Use Area and Sunriver to the Lava Lands Visitor center. 

General Info:

Accessibility

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.


Parking

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.


Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Expect to find golden-mantled ground squirrel, yellow-pine chipmunk, and yellow-bellied marmot. Their abundance as prey sometimes attract ermine and long-tailed weasel. Mountain chickadee, evening grosbeak, red-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch, and red crossbill have been sighted. Up on Lava Butte, look skyward for a soaring red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, or turkey vulture.

Featured Wildlife Groups:

  • Amphibians/Reptiles
  • Birds of Prey
  • Songbirds
  • Weasels/Skunks
  • Squirrels/Rodents

Habitats:

  • Forest - Lodgepole Pine
  • Forest - Ponderosa Pine
  • Rock - Outcrop
  • Rock - Talus

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.

Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
43.90993

  Longitude : 
-121.35616

  Elevation : 
4500