A walk through the Lava Cast Forest will transport your pup to a whole different world. Located outside Bend in Deschutes National Forest, this pawsome trail serves up unique scenery that’s been thousands of years in the making. So leash up your pup and get hiking!
About 6,000 years ago, Newberry Volcano and dozens of fissures erupted spewing smooth textured pahoehoe lava onto the surrounding forest. What remains is a lava field featuring molds of tree trunks and odd shaped rocks. Pick up one of the brochures at the trailhead so your pup can learn all about this living museum.
As you stroll down the paved path, look for both vertical
and horizontal tree casts and other formations created by the lava flow.
Although there is a large amount of volcanic rock, vegetation and trees have
grown back. If you visit during the spring, your furry friend will love the
purple and orange wildflowers that dramatically contrast the black rock
background. Conifer trees and moss add to the trail’s beauty. There’s even a
300 year old Ponderosa pine. That’s woofin’ old!
Primitive restrooms are available at the trailhead, but water is not, so be sure to pack plenty of H2O. Although this hike is just a mile, the climate is dry and the summer days can be hot, so your pup will definitely need a drink afterward. A single day parking pass is $5.00. If you live in the area or plan on returning, you can purchase an Annual Pass for $30.00. Also clean up bags are a must.
The trailhead has some picnic tables, so bring a sandwich and some biscuits for your dog and enjoy a leisurely lunch with puptacular scenery. If you want to see this geological wonder, plan your visit during the open season, which is between May and September. Lava Cast Forest is one trail your pooch will go mutts over!