Lava River Cave

Flagstaff Lava River Cave

Useful Information

Location: Coconino National Forest, 23 km northwest of Flagstaff. Follow North Fort Valley Rd to the northeast, after milepost 230 turn left on Forest Road 245, after 5 km left on Forest Road 171, after 1.6 km turn left on cul de sac to cave (FR 171B). The forest roads are dirt roads but suited for passenger vehicles.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=1,600 m.
Guided tours: L=3,200 m.
Address: Peaks Ranger Station, 5075 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004, Tel: +1-928-526-0866 .
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1915 discovered by lumbermen.


Flagstaff Lava River Cave is actually named simply Lava River Cave. Unfortunately there is a second popular cave of this name in Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. As a result, and because of the nearby city of Flagstaff, it is generally called Flagstaff Lava River Cave. We will do the same to avoid confusion.

The lava tube has a length of about 1,600 m and there is no second entrance. Visitors have to return the same way, the visit has a total legth of 3,200 m. The entrance is the most challenging part of the visit, as it includes some climbing, stooping and crawling. The rest is almost horizontal walking. Most visitors do only the first 1,200 m of the cave as it becomes more narrow to the end, which takeas about 45 minutes.