Lava River Cave
Take the familiy on an underground hike!
I have never been in a cave before so this is really neat! At first, I didn't think it was a cave because it was just a hole in the middle of some rocks, but once we crawled through it we were way down underground! It's a fun place to explore, but you have to really watch out because there are big jagged rocks everywhere that can trip you. Also, if you are tall like my dad, you will have to bend over in a lot of spots so you don't whack your head on the low ceiling.
Lava River Cave is situated within Cococino National Forest and is a popular site for those looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon spelunking in one of Arizona's most interesting caves. According to geologists, the cave was probably formed 650,00-700,000 years ago as a volcano tube which shot flows of lava out into the surrounding areas. Now, though there is no volcanic activity in the area, the cave is approximately a three-quarter mile long hike through a 200-300 foot downward sloping tunnel that is made up of rocky boulders from the volcanic rock of past years. It is truly a unique place to visit and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Getting to the cave can be a bumpy experience since it's situated about 7 miles down along some crudely maintained roads within Cococino National Forest (GPS Coordinates: N32.20.32/W 110.50.07). Even though the roads are somewhat poorly maintained, it is an easy detour off of HWY 180 if you are heading toward the Grand Canyon. There are several signs pointing you in the right direction and, once you get there, you will find a small parking area close to the cave entrance.
When planning a trip to Lava River Cave, it is important to realize that even though this is a short hike, the underground terrain, pitch darkness and slippery footing can make it quite dangerous. Also, like many underground caves, the temperature drops considerably once you are a few hundred feet in the tunnel. Even in the dead of summer, the cave temperature hovers near forty degrees, so dressing in layered clothing is suggested. While it may be a great experience for children, parents should make sure that they are adequately outfitted with warm clothing, sturdy shoes and a reliable light source to avoid any potential complications.
Note: The cave is very slippery and dark, so it is advisable to wear headlamps so that you are free to use your hands if needed to stay balanced in some of the rockier areas.
Cococino National Forest (GPS Coordinates: N 32.20.32/W 110.50.07)
Admission (subject to change):
Hours(subject to change):
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|Jacob Tip: This place is really dark inside, so make sure your flashlight has new batteries so you don't get stuck in the dark!|
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