Does your dog want to see something cool? Then follow an 1860 wagon trail through McKenzie Pass and visit the Lava River Trail. Your pup will feel like they are traipsing around another planet as they wander through this pawsome lava field. Created by the lava flow of Yapoah Crater, this area was formed about 2,000 years ago. Today, it is home to the Dee Wright Observatory and the short, but sweet Lava River Trail.
Start your visit at the observatory so your pal can see the lay of the land. Sitting above the local landscape provides a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. Use the “peak finder” to check out magnificent Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, North Sisters and Middle Sisters, and others. If the sky is clear, you can see up to 17 peaks! Your pal can even go inside the building, which is puptastic since this is where you’ll find the restrooms and water.
When you are ready to move on, follow the trail that is adjacent to the observatory. It’s paved, so you don’t have to worry about your doggo walking on the sharp lava rock. As you make your way down the path, stop and read the interpretive signs. Your pooch can learn all about the lava flow and funky rock formations. They’ll be a regular canine geologist by the time you go home!
Since this trail sits in higher elevation, it is closed
between November and July, or whenever snowfall restricts access. During the
open season, it can be quite crowded. Make sure your pooch gets along with
other four legged visitors, especially if you take them into the observatory. Trash
cans are available, but you will need to bring your own clean up bags. No bones
about it, this is one trail your pup is going to remember fur-ever!