USDA Forest Service

Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Deschutes National Forest


Deschutes National Forest
1001 SW Emkay Drive
Bend, OR   97702

(541) 383-5300

Ochoco National Forest
3160 N.E. 3rd Street
Prineville, OR   97754

(541) 416-6500

Crooked River National Grassland
813 S.W. Hwy. 97
Madras, OR   97741

(541) 475-9272

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Points of Interest

Lava Lands Visitor Center and Lava Butte

Newberry National Volcanic Monument IconSpacerRestroom IconDrinking Water IconSpacerHiker IconInterpretive Trail IconViewpoint Icon
Deschutes National Forest - Bend/Fort Rock Ranger District

Aerial view of Lava ButteLava Lands Visitor Center

Exciting changes for Lava Lands Visitor Center are here!
Visitors to Lava Lands Visitor Center this year will notice some big changes to their experience. The new Lawrence A. Chitwood Exhibit Hall is now open to the public after years of dedicated work on the project. This new exhibit marks the final piece to our grand re-opening of the Lava Lands Visitors Center that has been over two years in the making. Last year, 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 (August 4, 1942 - January 4, 2008), former geologist with Deschutes National Forest, with deep gratitude for his significant contributions throughout the development of this exciting new visitor experience. We hope that you enjoy the new exhibits and your total experience at Lava Lands Visitor’s Center.

Behind the Visitor Center there are two self guided interpretive trails, to explore at your own pace. One, the Trail of Molten Land, meanders over the 7000 year-old lava flow from Lava Butte, the imposing cinder cone behind the Visitor Center. The other, Trail of the Wispering Pines, wanders through a young ponderosa pine forest.

Lava Lands Visitor Center Hours of operation - 2009:

Spring: May 1-June 30, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m - 5 days a week: Wednesday-Sunday

Summer: July 1-September 7, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m - 7 days a week

Fall: September 8-October 15, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m5 days a week: Wednesday-Sunday

Interpretive Programs - June 20 - September 7 at Lava Lands Visitor Center and the following locations:

    • Mount Bachelor-Pine Marten Lodge
    • Newberry Caldera-various locations
    • Cascades Lakes Highway-various locations
    • High Desert Museum

Interpretive and educational program schedules will be posted at entrance stations, information desks, and campground bulletin boards. Please check the weekly schedule for times and locations throughout the summer. For more information call Lava Lands Visitor Center at 541-593-2421.

Lava Butte

Lava Butte rises 500 feet above the visitor center. This cinder cone erupted 7,000 years ago and covered over nine square miles with lava. The butte offers a panoramic view of central Oregon, including a spectacular view of the Cascade Range and the northwest flank of Newberry. The Lava Butte interpretive trail circles the crater rim.

Due to limited parking at the summit, there is "Controlled Access" on high use days. Each day is divided into 15 different 30-minute time slots. There are 14 tickets issued for each half hour time slot. Visitors can choose the next available slot or pick one later in the day. When their half hour time slot begins they can take their vehicle up.

Lava Butte Trivia

Lava Butte Geologic Site


LOCATION: on Hwy. 97 at Lava Butte in Newberry National Volcanic Monument - B on location map

ACCESS: from Bend, 11.2 miles south on Hwy. 97

ELEVATION: 4500 feet

FACILITIES: flush toilets, trails, visitor information and displays, book sales

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES: interpretive talks and walks, interpretive trails include Lava Butte Trail, Trail of the Molten Land, and Trail of the Whispering Pines.

OPERATED BY: Forest Service

PHONE: 541-593-2421 with recorded info when the center is not open.

FEE: Recreation Pass Site - Vehicle Permit - $5.00 Day Pass or $30.00 Annual Pass or other valid Recreation Passes


  • Fee based on number of passengers
    • 15 or less - $25.00
    • 16 to 25 - $50.00
    • 26 or more - $100.00




Newberry NVM Logo






USDA Forest Service - Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests
Last Modified: Thursday, 20 November 2003 at 18:26:15 EST

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.